Car-sharing steps on the gas

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Increasing numbers of Norwegians in urban areas are opting to join car-sharing programs instead of owning cars themselves. Norway stands to become a world leader in car sharing, say its advocates, given the country’s high car costs and a chronic lack of parking.

A report from Norway’s Transport Economics Institute noted that a car shared by several users can replace five to 15 private cars, while those sharing cars tend to use them much less than those with their own cars.

News bureau NTB reported recently that user-owned Bilkollektivet SA has grown at a rate of around 20 percent per year since its startup in 1995 and now has around 7,500 users sharing 350 cars. It ranks as Scandinavia’s largest car-sharing program and is lobbying for more incentives from local governments, which in turn stand to gain from having fewer cars on the streets. Among incentives are more parking area for shared cars, to allow users easier access to them.

Norway also has seen huge success from its incentives for electric car use, which include major tax breaks and access to the lanes otherwise reserved for bus and taxi use.

newsinenglish.no staff