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How Norway's government stimulated electric cars irresistible

2017 Electric Cars

2017 Electric Cars | Norway's immense opulence comes from decades of gas and oil production, hitherto its citizens are growing their backs on fossil fuel and hugging electric cars like nowhere else. In point, the Norwegian government is planning to end sales of gasoline and diesel vehicles by 2025. Special correspondent Malcolm Brabant reports on the Scandinavian country's investment in a greener future.

WILLIAM BRANGHAM : But first: President Trump announced over the weekend that he will decide the coming week whether the U.S. will remain part of the Paris climate accord.

That accord, indicated last year by 195 countries, devotes those nations to significantly reduce their carbon emissions to combat climate change. But President Trump has long was contended that environmental regulations cost American jobs, and he's vowed to undo them, and he's also described climate change itself as a deceive. European commanders last week counselled the president not walk away from the accord.

In Scandinavia, which is a world leader in dark-green technology, politicians and environmentalists want the president to follow their precede, and increase investment in ecologically based technologies like electric cars.

Special correspondent Malcolm Brabant reports from Norway, the world's fastest growing electric car market.

MALCOLM BRABANT : Norway prides itself on represent one of the world's most pristine countries. Yet, amid the impressive view, there are reminders that its immense opulence comes from decades of gas and oil production.

But Norwegians are growing their backs on fossil fuel and hugging electric cars like nowhere else.

Ann Kunish, who moved from Wisconsin 30 years ago, is one of the new converts.

ANN KUNISH , Music Librarian: This car is a no-brainer. There's no question about it. It's very, very easy to choose electric cars. The Norwegian government has attained it much more financially feasible to buy them. They don't have the same costs, free parking in municipal recognizes. More and more charging depots are being built, lower yearly fee to use the roads , no tolls.

MALCOLM BRABANT : New electric car marketings in Norway have now passed 100,000, imparting it the most important one per capita ownership rank in the world. In similarity, there are over half-a-million electric cars in the U.S. To have the same percentage as Norway, America would require 6.25 million electric cars on the road.

This is Oslo's rush hour, as electric car drivers hunt a parking smudge at the city's biggest charging station. The vigour is almost completely renewable energy, as 98 percentage of the country's capability comes from hydroelectric plants.

Norwegians brave some of the world's heaviest taxes, and removing marketings tariffs from electric cars has been irresistible. The authority aims to end sales of gasoline and diesel vehicles by 2025.

PETTER HAUGNELAND , Industry Advocate: There has to be a big difference if you choose a zero emission gondola or a polluting gondola when you buy it on the tax system. 

MALCOLM BRABANT : Industry advocate Petter Haugneland indicates taxes on fossil fuel vehicles should be increased to speed up the process. 

PETTER HAUGNELAND : In Norway, transportation sector is a key element to lower the emissions. We need to cut our releases very fast if we're going to do something about the climate problem. 

MALCOLM BRABANT : In March, President Trump canceled a fuel economy governing put in place by the Obama administration involving automakers to reach 54 miles a gallon by 2025, doubled the present rank. Environmentalists claimed higher guidelines would boost sale of hybrid and electric cars. 

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP : The assault on the America auto industry, believe me, is over. It's over. 

MALCOLM BRABANT : Norway's environment minister, Vidar Helgesen, belongs to a center-right defendant that once be in conformity with the Republican. It now has more in common with the Democrat. Helgesen didn't blame President Trump instantly, but transmitted a clear message not to turn back the clock. 

VIDAR HELGESEN , Foreign Minister, Norway: Our standing are quite that we very much need to build competitiveness for the future. We also need to care about the number of jobs that don't exist today that need to exist in the future. We know that the Chinese are expending massively in renewable energy. We know the Chinese and other large up happening economies are expending a lot in electrical vehicles. I think they're building dark-green competitiveness for the future. 

MALCOLM BRABANT : And this is precisely what the council of ministers speak of: an electric car start-up in southern Sweden which is reinventing the steering wheel to be more like video games console. 

LEWIS HORNE , CEO, Uniti: This is no longer how the authorities concerned will mechanically achieve it in the car, "because hes not" very nice for the user. There are different ways we will mechanically to be accomplished, which is due to be unveiled subsequently this year.

MALCOLM BRABANT : The CEO, Lewis Horne, has taken on 30 technologists and hopes to employ 1,000 beings once yield begins in early 2019 on a compact car that's still under wraps.

LEWIS HORNE : So, "youre seeing" a bit clue of two modelings which are the result of a lot of research and layout. In the future, the jobs are just different. Historically, when we have had an manufacture that's so damaging to our health now, that's not a home where you should be creating more occupations. We should be creating more jobs in the future of these industries.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP : There is no more beautiful sight than an American-made car.

MALCOLM BRABANT : The proprietor of this' 56 Chevy Bel Air couldn't is all very well. Henning Kjensli works for the American Car Club of Norway.

But while he's sympathetic to the is necessary to job creation, he's also in favor of travelling green.

HENNING KJENSLI , Commercial Manager, AMCAR: Developing and researching new technology costs tons of fund. And right now, best available earnings in the American automobile marketplace is in the full-size pickup and SUV segment.

They has also continued represent those autoes and sell them and make money off of them, but they are required sort of reinvest the profits from those autoes into brand-new and modern technology.

MALCOLM BRABANT : Gasoline tolls are the crucial difference between the U.S. and Norway. Norwegians pay about$ 7 a gallon. Gas is approximately five dollars cheaper in America, reducing the financial motivation to drive electric.

This is a partially American-made electric car, the $35,000 Ampera-e. It's a collaboration between General Motors and South Korea's L.G. GM's European limb, Opel, propelled the car in Norway in May.

Impressed by its stray of more than 300 miles on a single indictment, so many Norwegians ought to have ordering the Ampera-e, that there's now a 15 -month waiting list.

MAN : We are not going back. We are manager into the future. I consider, in 10 years, we will see that at least half of the sale from Opel is electrical, if things are moving in the direction we are seeing right now.

MALCOLM BRABANT : Norway may be a world leader when it comes to electric cars, but its environmental preserve is far from perfect. Its greenhouse gas emissions are increasing. Most of those are coming from oil and gas yield, which provides Norway with its wealth.

And critics are very unhappy that Norway is pushing to expand fossil fuel yield in the Arctic and suggested that it climate change programmes are inconsistent.

FREDERIC HAUGE , Bellona Foundation: It's schizophrenic, because Norway is a nice little country of petroholics.

MALCOLM BRABANT : This top-of-the-range electrical SUV is the pride and joy of Frederic Hauge, a veteran eco-warrior who was a colonist of electric cars in Norway.

FREDERIC HAUGE : You can say maybe that the electric car is a Trojan horse towards the Norwegian oil industry. The artillery revolution will bring down the oil price to $20 to $25 a cask before 2030. And then the stupid events Norway is doing in the Arctic, the petroleum drilling, will likewise be stopped because of financial reasons.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP : We're setting up a task force in every federal agency to identify and remove any regulation that undermines American automobile yield and any other kind of production.

MALCOLM BRABANT : Such announcements alarm environmentalists in Denmark 300 miles to the south. Denmark generates about 40 percent of its energy from wind power and is on track to reach its target of 50 percentage by 2020. But these and other renewable energy attempts need to be increased, according to Danish climate scientist Sebastian Mernild.

SEBASTIAN MERNILD , Nansen Environmental Center: Involving this green progress, we can hardly verify any blow thus far, because the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is increasing time by time. We are for sure helping the environment, but not sufficient. And we need to speed up this green development.

MALCOLM BRABANT : The European Union, whose environment agency has its headquarters in Copenhagen, is fully committed to the Paris climate agreement, which requires signatories to tighten up emissions by 2020 and beyond. Its dismay that the president may leave the accord.

Climate change specialist Magda Jozwicka.

MAGDA JOZWICKA , Europe Environment Agency: It is, of course, very important that countries around the world stick to the Paris agreement, because, overall, we need to work on our long-term de-carbonization purposes and the long-term well-being.

MALCOLM BRABANT : The Scandinavians uncertainty that environmental debates will change the president's mind, but they hope the financial occasion for electric cars will have more success.

For the PBS NewsHour, I'm Malcolm Brabant in Norway.

Source : pbs.org
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