Has the popularity of battery electric vehicles in Norway affected total new car sales? A synthetic control method study
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionAarstad, J., & Kvitastein, O. A. (2020). Has the popularity of battery electric vehicles in Norway affected total new car sales? A synthetic control method study. Applied Economics Letters, 1-4. 10.1080/13504851.2020.1713981
Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) have gained popularity in Norway, chiefly due to generous tax incentives. Using the synthetic control method, we study if BEVs’ popularity has complemented or substituted for conventional new car sales. Comparing Norway with weighed control units from a donor pool of 16 other European countries between 1990 and 2018 as a counterfactual, we find that conventional new car sales since 2011 have fallen steeply in the country. Analyses also indicate that total new car sales have decreased since 2011. We conclude that BEVs substitute for conventional cars and probably even subtract total new car sales. An implication is that tax revenue loss from BEVs is probably higher than previously estimated, and the fleet of cars in Norway is probably older than in the absence of BEVs’ generous tax incentives.