TEPR - working for a greener future


As the shortlist for the 2020 European Green Capital Award is announced, we take a look at electromobility in next year’s European Green Capital, Oslo. While elsewhere in Europe, countries and cities are taking the first steps towards electromobility, Oslo justifiably refers to itself as the electric vehicle capital of the world.  

Electromobility – transport using electric vehicles – is considered to be necessary for various reasons. Vehicles that use petrol and diesel simply cannot be improved enough to enable us to meet our long-term targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Without reductions in these emissions, there is a risk of significant climate change, which could impact significantly on the way we live.

Electric vehicles are also less polluting and quieter than petrol and diesel cars, which will contribute to improving the urban environment for all those who live and work on cities. As manufacturers invest in electric vehicles, cities need to ensure that their policies encourage and facilitate the use of electric vehicles.

A plan for electromobility

In 2008, Oslo adopted a ten point plan to reduce its CO2 emisisons1. As transport contributed 61% of these, action to reduce transport’s CO2 emissions was vital – delivering electromobility in the city was a significant part of this plan. The focus has been on a set of local policy initiatives, supported by national measures, to ensure that:

  • Electric cars are competitive to buy;
  • Electric cars are cheap to use; and
  • Electric cars are convenient to use.

Incentives for electromobility

In order to reduce the price of electric cars, there is no registration tax (which can be high for cars in Norway) on electric cars and there is no VAT on either the purchase or lease of electric cars. The city itself has made electric cars cheap to use by exempting them from charges on Oslo’s toll roads, as well as enabling them to park for free in municipal car parks. To make electric cars convenient to use, the city offers grants for the installation of electric charging points, and provides free charging in many of the city’s car parks. Indeed, there is a car park reserved only for electric vehicles (as shown in the photo). The city itself is also replacing its car fleet with electric cars.

Electricity for public transport

It is not just private motorised transport that needs to convert to electromobility. Oslo is currently trialling the use of electric buses. The buses being tested use overhead charging, which is located at certain points in the city (see photo).  The city is also facilitating the electrification of local ferries, which serve the nearby islands and municipalities, and enabling larger ships to use onshore electric power supplies when in port. The vision is to have all public transport in the city fossil fuel-free, including taxis.

Who will be European Green Capital for 2020?

With the announcement of the cities that have been shortlisted for the 2020 European Green Capital Award, the cycle continues. The short-listed cities – Lisbon (Portugal), Ghent in Belgium and the Finnish city of Lahti – will have the opportunity to present their plans to the Jury, who will make the final decision on which city will be European Green Capital in 2020. The announcement of the winner will take place on 21st June 2018 in the current European Green Capital, Nijmegen (Netherlands). Each city will need to convince the Jury that it would be a worthy European Green Capital in 2020, which will begin the second decade of the European Green Capital Award.

TEPR Contributions

Since 2014, Ian Skinner of TEPR has been the Sustainable Urban Mobility expert on the European Commission’s expert panel, which evaluates the applications for the Commission’s European Green Capital and Green Leaf Awards.


European Commission’s European Green Capital Award’s website.

City of Oslo’s electromobility website and its Climate and Energy Strategy.

The ‘Local Transport‘ section of Oslo’s application to be European Green Capital.


1 Carbon dioxide is the main pollutant emitted by transport than contributes to global warming and climate change

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.