Electric incentives

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With a little help, European drivers go green behind the wheel.

electric car

In the United Kingdom, drivers of electric cars will soon be allowed to use bus lanes in the cities of Milton Keynes and Derby, and to park for free in Bristol. Other countries are offering equally attractive incentives: Estonia has installed a network of fast-charging stations, while Denmark now provides chargers in public areas.

Many European countries also subsidise purchases of electric cars.

“Norway offers the most incentives,”

says Chresten Træholt, associate professor at the Centre for Electric Power and Energy at DTU — Technical University of Denmark. Among other things, Norway exempts owners from paying value-added tax and tolls. “That explains why the country has the world’s highest market penetration of plug-in vehicles.” Market share of electric vehicles has reached 13.8 per cent in Norway, almost 10 times the European average of 1.4 per cent.

The “electric-car revolution” will come in 2022, says Bloomberg New Energy Finance, because that is when electric cars will finally be cheaper than conventional ones. Some financial advantages exist already, says Træholt: “In many countries electric cars are already less expensive to drive than those running on petrol, as electric engines are three times more efficient than combustion engines.”

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