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Expanding EV adoption

Explore how the integration of EVs in London requires a policy and economic shift.
© RMIT Europe and EIT Urban Mobility
London has moved to hydrogen fuel cell and battery electric buses. Image by Fernando Garcia 49, CC licence on Flickr

Shifting EV culture toward adoption

A significant culture shift is needed to move beyond hybrid approaches. For example, London integrated low emission buses into their transit network as early as 2005 and have transitioned from hybrid through to hydrogen fuel cell and battery electric buses.

This early shift made it possible for policy makers and city planners to integrate policy and infrastructure for EVs more widely. However, integration of EVs requires an economic shift to adapt all city infrastructure to adopt ZEVs including trucks, buses, cars and then roads.

Expansion of the EV market

The current trajectory of EV uptake is encouraging. To ensure a successful transition, further action is required among market leaders and followers. Recommendations include a broadening and tightening of regulations and policies such as:

Norway

Carlos Ghosn visiting Norway. Image by Norsk elbilforening, CC License on Flickr

Norway leads the way with incentives for the purchase of EVs. The shift started with a publicity stunt in 1990 by the lead singer of the 80’s band Aha and a leading environmentalist, who drove a converted electric car around Oslo, refusing to pay parking fines and tolls until the car was impounded and sold off.

The message was heard by politicians and Norway has taken the lead in EV uptake ever since. This has primarily been done with incentives for the purchase EVs. Some early incentives included:

  • 50% reduced company car tax (2000–2018)
  • rules allowing local authorities to limit bus lanes to only include EVs that carry one or more passengers (2016)
  • free municipal parking (1999–2017).

By 2019 additional incentives were included:

  • no annual road tax
  • maximum 50% of the total amount on ferry fares for electric vehicles
  • parking fee for EVs implemented locally but with an upper limit of a maximum 50% of the full price
  • access to bus lanes.

These incentives combined to make purchasing an EV competitive with other vehicles. By 2025, Norway plans for all new cars to be zero-emission.

Walking, cycling and public transport

Behaviour change to reduce car use is also critical. Further incentives are planned for walking, cycling and public transport in Norway. While more Norwegians drive electric vehicles, they are also driving more miles than ever before. Half of European car journeys are less than three miles – a distance that for the majority of people is doable by bike, bus, or a brisk walk. In the meantime, EV uptake is still increasing worldwide, with implications for infrastructure and real estate implementation.

In the following steps, we’ll examine some of the practical considerations involved in expanding ZEV and EV adoption, including:

  • charging implementation
  • the challenges facing local integration
  • retrofitting existing buildings and infrastructures.

Your task

In the comments tell us about your city and locality. What steps could be taken to encourage fewer cars on the road? Please remember to respond to the comments of others.

Further reading

You can read a detailed analysis of Norway’s governance structures; and the role of niche locality innovations in supporting EV incentives.

Perspectives on Norway’s supercharged electric vehicle policy

© RMIT Europe and EIT Urban Mobility
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