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Discussion Starter #1
EV sales, relative to all car sales, nationwide, 2020: First quarter: 51% (March: 57%)

The number of EVs in the entire car fleet has now passed 10%. In Denmark and Sweden the rate is just 0.6%.

The EV incentives started as early as 2001, and has been controversial since. The financial burden is high and increasing year by year. Norway has only 5.4 million inhabitants, 2.8 million cars, just 0.2% of all cars worldwide. What if this resources (money) was used to reduce emissions where most cost-effective, wherever possible, even outside Norway?

Yesterday, research leader Sverre Alvik of DNV GL stated that Norwegian EV incentives not only have impacted Norway, but lead to lower prices on batteries and EVs in general, worldwide, causing reduced carbon emissions in the size of 400 billion tons over the years.

If he is correct, the global impact of these Norwegian incentives, may continue to accumulate on global scale for many years to come. A real "kick-in-the-ass" for the global automotive industry, and a major, long term contribution to reduced carbon emissions (and other pollutants).

From official figures and own experience (pre current corona lockdown), central parts of Oslo and Bergen now has at least 20% EVs. This is on top of overall reduced car use in city centres, due to tolls and strict parking regulations. A really pleasant experience!
 

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Incentives tends to keep real prices high. If everywhere all nations keep up incentives, the manufacturers take them as given truth and won’t lower the prices. The same goes almost all manufacturing and production. One comparison here in Finland is rental apartments when government supports private people for renting a home (if you fulfill certain terms). This will drag all rental home prices high also for other people.
 

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True, for general, broad and lasting incentives to make a kind of commodity for affordable for a certain part of the population. To minimize the risk of incentives being "consumed" higher up the delivery chain, they must be very specific, and must be gradually removed as the goal is closing in.

The situation was, and partly still is, that zero emission cars was substantially more expensive than fossils, and an assessment that this difference would diminish as research and production levels got higher, a least above a threshold. We know that the price mass produced things like cars is greatly influenced by the scale.

The general scepticism about incentives, at least broad ones has been there, and here, all the time. After nearly 20 years in effect, one can begin to evaluate, was in successful or not? Five things seems however quite clear, as that debate goes on:
  1. It took a long time before things started to happen on a large scale, almost 10 years
  2. It drove the development of zero emission cars, as the Norwegian market was large enough to test new models
  3. It made them affordable for ordinary car buyers
  4. It was/is financially costly
  5. Little indication zero emission cars being more expensive due to higher revenue among producers/dealers, but this should be researched, as the risk are probably increasig as the goal is closing in
The fact that Norway could take his politically driven role, nationally and with international impact, lies in the very solid Norwegian state economy (largely gained from petrol production) and the large renewable portion of Norwegian electrical power (98%).

The reason for writing my post was not to advocate incentives in general, as I'm sceptic, but acknowledge that, in this case, however expensive and so far, long lasting, it now seems to have worked better than many feared, and may have had more positive international side effects not thought of in the beginning.
 

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It is also a matter of interpretation. As the economy is an adaptive dynamical system with many feedback loops, it is not a realistic expectation that an incentive is an amount of money that the buyer literally gets in his or her pocket. Due to the adaptive dynamical system character of these processes, it is more realistic to interpret an incentive as an amount of money added to the whole chain from producer to buyer. In principle, all parties in this chain can benefit and therefore feel stimulated by it, which still fulfills the intention of the incentive.
 

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It is also a matter of interpretation. As the economy is an adaptive dynamical system with many feedback loops, it is not a realistic expectation that an incentive is an amount of money that the buyer literally gets in his or her pocket. Due to the adaptive dynamical system character of these processes, it is more realistic to interpret an incentive as an amount of money added to the whole chain from producer to buyer. In principle, all parties in this chain can benefit and therefore feel stimulated by it, which still fulfills the intention of the incentive.
Incentives and other ”stimulation money” are still a taxpayers money. It’s not free. And normally the highest ladder in the chain will eventually get benefits put of that (owners of the car company).
 

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Within an economy, the market determines where what money goes. As taxpayers, by incentives we invest in a better functioning economy with more EV's being produced, traded, and bought. I can live with that. Otherwise, we should replace our economy with a fully planned type of organisation which was not very successful in the past.
 
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And normally the highest ladder in the chain will eventually get benefits put of that (owners of the car company).
The goal is to reduce emissions to benefit all of us (we all breathe the same air). Other than Tesla, not sure any manufacturer has increased profits from full BEVs yet. Even Tesla is not that profitable, although stock holders have benefited from increased stock price. EVs tend to be compliance vehicles to suit mandates from governments for lower fleet emissions. It is mostly upper middle class and above folks that benefit directly from subsidies.
 
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