Norway’s Socialist Left Party has proposed a radical plan to outlaw all new sales of petrol-powered vehicles by 2015. But don’t run out and sell your car just yet because the ban is still just a proposal, and not a particularly popular one at that.
However, should the government jump onboard, Norway’s streets could be filled with Priuses, Volts and other electric, hybrid or biodiesel cars within six years. Debate is currently focused on how involved the Norwegian government should become in promoting such a landmark transition.
Industry analysts point to the 1970s, which saw major debates over the forced increase of environmental and safety measures in the United States. Once in place, those revolutionary regulations proved to be insightful and successful. Pundits are now wondering whether Norway’s government might be wise to insist on a similar changeover to cleaner vehicles.
The ban on fossil fuel-powered vehicles may appear a strange idea coming from the world’s sixth biggest exporter of oil, but Scandinavia often leads the way in earth-friendly global initiatives. The ban would not force existing petrol-powered cars off Norway’s roads, but it would outlaw the purchase of any new cars that aren’t at least hybrids. Diehard fossil-fuel burners don’t have to worry if the ban is passed, however, because they can always stick with used cars.