Summary

As part of a 10 point plan to reduce local emissions in the City of Oslo, the City Council decided to establish more than 400 on street charging points for Electric Vehicles, in order to ease the transition from fossil fueled vehicles to electric vehicles, In Norway, 99% of the electricity is produced from hydroelectric and renewable sources. In 2013, an average of 5.6% of all new vehicles sold were 100% electric, with the record month so far in 2014 being March, when electric vehicles had a 20.3% market share.

What is it?

Transport accounts for 50 % of greenhouse gas emissions in Oslo. It is also the main source of local air pollution in the city. By enabling a shift from fossil fueled vehicles to electric vehicles, local emissions can be reduced and the local air quality can be improved. Electric vehicles also help reduce noise in the city, since the engine makes almost no noise compared to traditional internal combustion vehicles.

How does it work?

The City of Oslo wants to encourage city residents to drive an electric vehicle, even if they do not have a private garage and are dependent on on-street parking. On-street charging points would also be available to commuters, in order to make it possible to switch to electric vehicles for those commuting into the city.

The City Council decided in 2007 to establish 400 charging points from 2008-2011. In late 2011, the programme was deemed a success, and expanded to establish 100 new charging points in 2012, and then to reach 900 in total by the end of 2014.

The City Council also created an incentive to increase the number of private charging points. They did this by expanding the existing “Climate- and Energy Fund”. The fund now supports private charging points being established in parking garages, shopping centers, apartment buildings and workplaces, in order to help establish charging stations also outside of public streets. These charging stations are funded up to 60% (maximum 10 000 NOK / 1200 EUR / 1700 USD per charging point).

In addition to access to charging points, electric vehicles also has a series of other benefits in Norway and Oslo, such as:

  • No purchasing tax or VAT on electric vehicles
  • Free pass on toll roads
  • Access to use bus and taxi lanes
  • Free parking on municipal parking spaces
  • Free travel on ferries that are part of the national highway system.

400 public on-street charging stations for electric vehicles were established in the period 2008-2011. The locations for these were based on where they were already needed (where EV owners lived), on proposals made by the public and where the Agency for Urban Environment deemed them necessary. 

Charging stations were placed both in residential areas as well as downtown and central areas. That way they covered both residents living in the area as well as those visiting the city center to go shopping, to the theater or to the movies. In cooperation with the Norwegian EV Owners Association, it was decided to have a longer time limit on charging and parking at the charging stations in residential areas, and a shorter limit on charging and parking in central areas. Thus today, you can park and charge up to 16 hours in a residential street. This enables residents to e.g. come home in the afternoon, and charge overnight before they need to move their vehicle. In central Oslo the time limit is 3 hours during daytime, while after 18.00 o’clock one can park and charge overnight.

Costs

For establishing the charging points the cost has been about 4 million NOK (approx. $675,000 USD) every year for 100 charging points. The average cost in electricity per charging point per day is $1 USD.

Results

Since the programme started in 2008, the number of registered electric vehicles in Oslo has increased from 2,000 in 2012 to 6,000 by May 2014. There has also been a 100% increase in the number of electric vehicles passing through the Oslo central toll ring since 2012.

Across Norway,  the number of electric vehicles has increased from 9,500 in 2012 to 30,000 in May 2014. There has hardly been any complaint from the public, even though the programme has meant converting public on-street parking spaces to become reserved for electric vehicles only. That the electricity for the vehicles has thus far been provided by the city has also been widely supported by the public. (This policy may change as the technology develops sufficiently to allow for the city to readily charge or bill customers for the electricity.)

Next steps

The City of Oslo continues to expand the number of public charging points, and by the end of 2014, 900 public charging points will be available.

The City of Oslo is also involved in the European FREVUE project, which will:

  • rollout several standard and fast charge stations and novel ITC solutions for pre-booking charging, loading and unloading slots
  • create an action plan for adjusting transport planning to integrate EVs into distribution operations
  • benchmark the efficiency of EVs in logistics against alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles http://frevue.eu/

In 2013, the City of Oslo decided  that all municipal cars have to be emission free by 2015 and allocated 50M Norwegian kroner (USD $8.3M) to support agencies with interest-free loans to replace vehicles.

Application

Oslo’s experience is that establishing on-street charging points at municipal parking spaces is not very expensive. A widespread availability of visible charging points around the City streets in combination with other incentives has led to increased awareness and a substantial increase in the number of EVs in Oslo and the surrounding area. 

Contact:

Marianne Mølmen, City of Oslo, Agency for Urban Environment, marianne.molmen@bym.oslo.kommune.no, tel. + 47 913 05 149