>> This island off the west of Norway may be remote, but it has the highest density of electric cars in the world. Finnoey has had a boom of electric car drivers since 2009. The reason, they're exempt from a $6,000 a year toll charged for the tunnel to the mainland.
Diesel and petrol car users still have to pay. Drivers of electric cars also receive nationwide tax breaks worth tens of thousands of dollars plus other exemptions from road tolls and parking fees. The idea has been praised around the world with Tesla Electric Car CEO, Elon Musk, tweeting that Norway are a great example.
But it's handout heavy and not all plain sailing. As Reuters' Alister Doyle explains, the high subsidies have become too expensive for Norway. On Finnoey, there's even a dispute about the generosity of these benefits, and Norway's trimming them back because even in Norway, which has great riches from North Sea oil and gas, they can't afford some of these subsidies any longer.
In Finnoey, on this island, there is resentment against electric car drivers from some people who say they're not doing enough to pay their fair share, to pay off the cost of the tunnel which opened in 2009 and cost
] $60 million to build.>> The mayor of the island agrees, saying he wants to start charging electric cars half the rate that diesel and petrol cars pay to use the tunnel.
The change is worrying for other countries who were hoping to phase dirtier engines out before the middle of this century.>> They've had a boom in electric cars in Norway, which is the most generous country for subsidies towards electric cars, but the boom is so dependent on subsidies that it casts doubt on whether countries like Britain and France, which have said they'll phase out combustion engines by 2040, will be able to do it.
>> As battery powered vehicles are far costlier than combustion engines, technology will have to become significantly cheaper by the UK and France's deadline of 2040 to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars. Like Norway, they are unlikely to be able to afford handing out crippling amounts of electric subsidies.