EV sales in Norway hit record but new taxes may slow their roll

STORY: Sales of electric vehicles in Norway accounted for nearly four out of five new cars sold in the country last year.

That's according to registration data, which showed that Norway - with its 5.5 million inhabitants - achieved the world's highest proportion of electric vehicles, making it a proving ground for auto makers launching EV models.

The sales were led by Elon Musk's Tesla, which sold more cars in Norway than any other brand for a second consecutive year.

But some in the auto industry say new taxes in Norway could thwart the country's goal of becoming the first to end sales of fossil-fueled vehicles by 2025.

Norway has until now exempt battery electric vehicles from taxes imposed on those with internal combustion engines.

But while the subsidies helped cut emissions, the finance ministry said they cost the state about $4 billion in lost revenue in 2022.

The government is now seeking to curb benefits for high-end vehicles and bring in a new auto tax based on weight.

Thor Egil Braadland of the Norwegian Automobile Federation said that concerned him.

"The government is now starting to increase the taxes on EVs and we are afraid that it will reduce the sale of EVs."

The government has defended its electric vehicle policy, with Johan Vasara, a state secretary at the Norwegian transport ministry, saying that because electric vehicles have become the new normal car for Norwegians, "that means we have to look into how we are using society's funds."