Care2 Earth Month: Back to Basics
This year, Care2 decided to expand Earth Day into Earth Month, since there is so much to explore when it comes to the environment. Every day in April, we’ll have a post about some of the most important topics for the environment, exploring and explaining the basics. It’s a great tool to help you get started with helping the environment — or help explain it to others. See the whole series here.
Despite gaining its wealth from oil, Norway has staked its future elsewhere. In alternative transport, it’s now the world center for electric cars. Per capita, it has the most in the world, with 4,000 now running around its capital, Oslo.
In small cars, electric models now outsell all others, but new models are appearing for sale in every car type, including sports cars.
The cars get free parking, can use bus lanes and avoid congestion charges, so these incentives are driving ownership. As is, as one new owner told AFP, that although they are more expensive to buy they are much less expensive to run.
A typical range is 150 miles and that costs around $2.90 in Norway for an overnight charge.
Because battery life suffers in Norway’s winter, they’re developing a national network of charging stands where a “fill up” takes about 20 minutes.
Norway has a carbon dioxide emissions reduction target of 30 percent by 2020.
“The electric car is a very important tool for that, knowing that 40 percent of our emissions come from the transport sector and 60 percent of those come from road transport,” Transport Minister Magnhild Meltveit Kleppa told AFP.
Other governments are throwing their weight behind encouraging electric car use as well. British Colombia in Canada just announced it will build 120 electric-car charging stations.
As of April 2011, 15 European Union member states provide economic incentives for the purchase of new electrically chargeable vehicles, which consist of tax reductions and exemptions, as well as of bonus payments for buyers of all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles and some alternative fuel vehicles.
The U.S. offers a federal income tax credit up to US $7,500, and 26 states have additional incentives. The incentives were first put in place by former President Bush. President George H. W. Bush just this past week bought a Chevy Volt for his son Neil. Unfortunately, 2012 Republicans continue to demonize the technology.
Watch AFP report on electric cars in Oslo:
Picture by TOMOYOSHI