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Monday, June 13, 2016   VOLUME 12 ISSUE 24  
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Report: Norway to Ban Gasoline and Diesel Cars

Several news agencies including Norway’s Dagens Næringsliv newspaper and reported last week that four of Norway’s major parties have reached agreement on a proposal to ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel-powered cars starting in 2025.

Were it to become law, the policy would obviously be positive for Elon Musk’s Tesla, which currently produces the most advanced electric cars in the world. With 24% of new vehicles being powered by fully electric (not hybrids) drive-trains, Norway, with a population of only about 5 million, already has the highest percentage of electric vehicle market share of any country – meaning that it’s less of a leap for Norway than any other country.

Reportedly, Norwegian Liberal Party MP Ola Elverstuen told local Norway's Dagens Naeringsliv that his fellow MPs and those of the Progress Party, the Christian Democrats and the Conservative Party have reached a groundbreaking decision to meet the goals.

The goals have been outlined in the ambitious national transport plan 2018-2019 which stipulates gradually banning all types of vehicles that harm the environment such as fuel-powered cars, vans, busies and heavy vehicles, according to reports.

Then, reports surfaced stating "No, Norway isn’t banning diesel and petrol cars – yet". When Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported on Friday (June 3) that the government coalition and its two support parties had reached a deal to stop the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles in 2025, the news was spread to a number of US media outlets thanks in large part to an enthusiastic tweet from Tesla CEO Elon Musk: "Just heard that Norway will ban new sales of fuel cars in 2025. What an amazingly awesome country. You guys rock!!" Musk wrote.

But as news sources including CNBC and The Independent wrote up their reports, the political agreement turned out not to be completely correct. Although DN quoted spokesman Ola Elvestuen as saying “there will only be sales of zero-emissions vehicles in 2025), a press release from government coalition party the Conservatives (Høyre) called the DN report “misleading”.

“The government and its partners agree on a new step on the way towards a low-emission society, but there is no talk of banning the sale of diesel and petrol vehicles in 2025 as one would be led to believe in Dagens Næringsliv,” the press release stated.

Elvestuen attempted to clarify his statement by saying that the parties had only agreed to “set target numbers for how many low- and zero-emissions” there should be in Norway by 2025 in order to reach climate goals that will be presented next year as part of a national transport plan. “We have not reached an agreement on how to reach the goals,” he said.

Norway is already a global leader when it comes to zero-emissions vehicles with new car registrations, giving the Nordic country the highest market share for clean vehicles anywhere in the world. The Norwegian vehicle market though accounts for less than one percent of all vehicles in Europe.

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