There 29% and that trend is only speeding

There are Teslas everywhere in thiscity.Up until today I’d seen a total of about five Teslas my entire life.And three of those five were behind glasscases in luxury malls.I’ve been in Oslofor like a couple of hours and I’ve seen like 50 Teslas.There’s one right there.They’re beautiful, they’re sleek, they areefficient, they’re fast and they’re$70,000.Here comes another one up the road.Oh yeah.100% electricity, no gas, and itcan go from like zero to 100 kilometersin like five seconds. I have no idea, I’m nota car person, so I don’t know if that’s right.Here in Norway in 2014,Tesla actually broke a record for numberof cars sold in a month for a singlemodel, of any kind of car not justelectric cars. And you look around for afew minutes and you realize it’s notjust Teslas. There are electric carseverywhere. Like, I see electric cars inthe United States but nothing like this.Oh, there’s a Tesla, there’s a Tesla.There it goes.Turns out that Oslo isactually the epicenter of electric cars generally.You can tell which cars are electric bytheir license plate. So this “E” at thebeginning determines if it’s electric.In 2016 in the United States of all the newcars that were purchased about 1% wereelectric, more like 0.9%.In Norway it was 29% and that trend is only speeding up:in January this year the share was like37% or something of all the carspurchased being electric.Where on earth have I ended up? I’vebeen kind of wandering around and I feellike I’m about to enter a secret cave.The real question is can I fly my droneover this amazing waterfall? I’ve never flowna drone in Norway before so we’ll see how this goes.99% of Norway’s electricity comes fromhydropower which is like dams.So you have really cheap clean energy that canbe used to power these electric cars.The real core explanation here, the reason whythere are so many Teslas and so manyelectric cars on the road comes down togovernment policy.The government incentivizes very very strongly peopleto buy electric cars.This happens in various forms: you getfree parking if you drive an electriccar, you get access to the HOV Lane, whichhas way less traffic,you don’t have to pay registration fees, you get taxdeductions on your income tax,and perhaps the biggest incentive of all ison the business side: companies likeTesla don’t ha ve to pay sales tax forselling here in Norway and so all ofthis combined makes it actually way waycheaper for someone to buy a Tesla herein Norway than to buy one in the UnitedStates.Well it’s been fun exploring this randomlittle area I think the big takeawayfrom this whole entire journey so far iseven thugz cry.So just remember: even thugz cry.Alright, this is perhaps my favorite sight so far.There are 2,000 of these charging stations here in Oslo.Excuse me can I ask you a couple, I’m socurious about – can I record it? Yeah, of course.So it’s it’s all free. It’s free? Yeah, it’s free.This is what you get from buying anelectric car. You get free charging andyou can go in and out of Oslo withoutpaying for the “bompenger” (toll).All of these subsidies we’re talking about that,help fund these electric cars are fundedby what’s called sovereign wealth fund.It’s this huge fund that Norway has it’sworth almost a trillion dollars. Thegovernment owns it it’s basically theirrainy day fund and this is what they useto fund the subsidies.The sovereign wealth fund in Norway is comprisedalmost entirely of oil money,oil and gas money, fossil fuels. Norway’s a hugeproducer of oil and gas and they sellthat to other countries and reap thebenefits in terms of revenue and putthat into the sovereign wealth fundwhich then gets funneled into subsidiesfor electric cars. So they’re not burningthe oil here and releasing carbon intothe atmosphere but they’re sending offto go be burned somewhere else.I asked my friend Tor what he thinks about this.Tor, what do you feel about Norway beingthis green sustainable society, butreally depending at the end of the dayon fossil fuels in order to make thathappen?Is that a tension within the Norwegianpsyche? So I think the way we resolve itis basically that the world needs oil.It needs, you know there’s a lot ofcountries are developing: China, India,that will always need energy and wewould argue that we extract it moregreenly than other countries.We’re buying good conscience forsure yeah but like it’s better thandoing anything. We’re fully aware thatthere’s like green shift we’re talkingabout is funded by you know oil money.The irony is not lost on us in any way.So I think Tor is right — I think that thefact that Norway is exporting its carbonfootprint to other countries, it doesn’tcancel out all of the wonderfulprogressive green things that they’redoing here.This is a story about incentives and green infrastructure and a green society but it’s also a storyabout how fossil fuels continue to makethe world go round.I am tired and jet-lagged and haven’tslept in like twenty three hours.7500:06:50,150 –> 00:00:00,000I’m gonna go to bed. It was a fun day chasing Teslas. Tomorrow, we go to the North Pole.


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