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    Oil is hard to quit even in Norway


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    Electric car charging stands now outnumber petrol pumps at a Circle K service station outside of Kongsberg, Norway. This scene is becoming increasingly common throughout the Nordic country, offering a glimpse into the future of drivers worldwide. Norway has emerged as a trailblazer in the realm of electric vehicles, moving away from traditional internal combustion engines at a much faster pace than its neighboring countries. This progress is largely thanks to generous tax breaks and incentives that have made electric vehicles cost competitive with their gasoline-powered counterparts.

    While most countries may not be able to match the speed of Norway’s transition, the International Energy Agency predicts that the rest of the world will move in a similar direction, ultimately leading to peak oil demand before the end of the decade. Christina Bu, the secretary-general for the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association, highlighted Norway’s success, stating that the sale of new electric cars has increased from 3% in 2012 to nearly 80% in 2022. She emphasizes the importance of other countries learning from Norway’s accomplishments and recognizing that this transformation is inevitable.

    Norway’s experience serves as a potential indicator of a downward trajectory for global fuel demand. However, it also raises awareness of the limitations of electric cars in curbing overall fossil fuel consumption and achieving net-zero emissions. Despite years of subsidies, electric cars accounted for only 23% of miles driven in Norway in 2022, while diesel still accounted for 43% of the distance covered. Heavy trucks, which have yet to widely adopt electric drive trains due to technological challenges, primarily rely on diesel.

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    The consumption of diesel in Norway remains relatively high, having decreased by just 10% since its peak in 2015. Statistic Norway’s data shows a rebound in demand since 2020. Aviation also struggles to find an alternative to oil, as certain sectors like trucking, mining, and industrial activities heavily rely on diesel. Bjarne Schieldrop, chief commodities analyst at SEB AB, acknowledges the necessity of diesel for these purposes. Despite progress in reducing oil consumption per capita, Norway’s demand remains higher than its neighboring countries, partially attributed to a larger population growth rate and a robust petroleum, shipping, and industrial sector.

    While electric cars are not a perfect solution for carbon emissions, they have still made a significant impact on fossil fuel consumption. BloombergNEF’s Electric Vehicle Outlook reveals that battery and fuel cell vehicles have already reduced global oil demand by 1.5 million barrels per day, representing approximately 1.5% of total consumption. The report predicts that oil use for road transport will peak in 2027 in a net-zero scenario. One of the most remarkable aspects of electric cars is their versatility in utilizing various energy sources to generate electricity, creating competition for oil in the transportation sector from renewable energy alternatives.

    At the Circle K station in Kongsberg, charging points are now located at the forefront, while gasoline and diesel pumps have been moved to the back. This shift symbolizes a dramatic change in the position of oil within the energy system. As Norway continues to navigate the transition to electric mobility, it serves as a model for other countries seeking to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and embrace sustainable transportation alternatives.

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    Credit: The Star : Business Feed

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