Over the years, Norway has offered enticing subsides and other perks to encourage people to buy electric cars, such as no city tolls, free parking, free charging, and permission to drive in bus lanes.
The tax would apply to large vehicles weighing more than two tons and a draft bill could be introduced in 2018. Automobile industry magazines have termed the tax as "Tesla Tax" as it would impact Tesla's expensive Model S and Model X SUV.
Electric cars, which have hitherto been exempted from heavy taxes imposed on other vehicles, accounted for 20 percent of new registrations in the Nordic country since the beginning of this year, an unprecedented market share in the world. The tax would increase the cost of buying a new Tesla X by about 70,000 kroner ($8,850), local media said (link in Norwegian). There are more than 13,000 registered Teslas in Norway, according to data from the national statistics office.
"This was unexpected by both the drivers and by the auto industry and it sends a bad signal to the Norwegians and the world" for which the nation is often a model in this matter, Bu added.
Tesla’s advantages of clean-sheet design
As automobile companies are still developing technologies for electric vehicles, they are spending a lot of money on research and development.
Norway's finance minister, Siv Jensen, justified the proposal by arguing that the heavy cars caused as much damage to the road as gasoline and diesel cars, so electric-car owners should contribute more to the cost of upkeep.
Norway's electric auto drivers benefit from free city tolls, free parking and the possibility of traveling in the bus corridors. Since the government's proposed one-off fee is based on the vehicle's weight, it's already being called the "Tesla tax".