(Image: EPA/Oliver Weiken)

In 2020, Norway passed an amazing threshold: more than half of the cars sold in the country last year were pure electric vehicles (EV).

This is not due to the Norwegian consumer’s unique morality or profound green proclivities. It’s all due to policy.

A dizzying combination of tax incentives mean EV buyers in Norway can look at €10,000 in subsidies (A$15,700), which is enough to make EVs cheaper than petrol or diesel vehicles. Not to mention that EVs get cut price parking, access to bus lanes, a discount on road tolls, free ferries and other benefits

Meanwhile in Australia, there are no national EV subsidies, and the effect is clear. EV market share remains vanishingly small (Tesla keeps all its data secret so its sales are excluded from these counts. But even with their inclusion, sales would not be over 1%.)

Hybrid sales are taking off, rising to 6.5% of all sales, suggesting Aussies are not actually afraid of new green tech — we’re just price conscious.

The optimistic spin is this: there’s plenty of room for Australia to see a big improvement in sales of zero-emission vehicles.