Half of the cars that have been registered in Norway so far in 2017 are either hybrid or electric, indicating significant progress toward the European country's goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The use of both hybrid and electric cars has come to be viewed as a way of bettering the environment, particularly in regards to global warming. According to the EPA, a main contributor to global warming is the greenhouse gas emissions of cars that run on gasoline. Both hybrid and electric cars produce fewer emissions than their gasoline-using counterparts, thereby reducing the number of greenhouse gas emissions and curtailing the effects of global warming.
As a country, Norway has already committed to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The Independent reports that in 2012, Norway set a goal of reducing CO2 emissions (a greenhouse gas) to approximately 85 grams per half-mile by the year 2020. Norway has almost achieved that goal: In February, CO2 emissions stood at approximately 88 grams per half-mile, down a full 47 grams from when the decision was originally made.
In light of its goals regarding CO2 emissions, Norway has actively sought to make changes in its vehicle industry. In June 2016, Fortune reported that four of Norway's major political parties were supporting a bill that would ban cars that run exclusively on gasoline by the year 2025 -- thereby encouraging the use of hybrid and electric cars. Although the bill was met with some opposition, The Independent reports that it immediately garnered support from members of both sides of the political spectrum.
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During the first few months of 2017, it seems Norway has already exhibited progress in achieving this goal. The Independent reports that, according to Norway's Road Traffic Information Council, sales of hybrid and electric cars account for 51.4 percent of Norway's vehicle sales going into March -- a significant increase from last year's figures.
In May 2016, CNBC reported that during the first three months of that year, hybrid and electric vehicles accounted for only 24.4 percent of all new vehicles. As such, Norway has managed to more than double the amount of hybrid and electric cars in the country in the span of one year.
Norway also has the highest number of all-electric cars per capita in the world.
In spite of the significant progress made, Norway officials are by no means backing off in the fight to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In a statement to the AFP, Norway's Climate and Environment Minister Vidar Hegelsen said they will seek to continue to make changes in the vehicle industry over the next decade, with the goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 40 percent.