Seeing is believing
By hosting the Eco Car Day Bellona aims to inspire taxi drivers to choose the emissions-free option the next time they change vehicle. Nissan, Tesla, Mercedes, BMW, Toyota, Iveco and Smart were all present to showcase their EVs, hybrids, hydrogen cars and larger cars that run on biofuels.
“According to Oslo Taxi a lot of their drivers have shown a keen interest in EVs. By making different eco-cars available for test-driving and talking to the manufacturers we hope the choice to go renewable will become easier”, Havåg continues.
In Oslo there are currently 20 EV-taxis, and numbers are set to increase. According to taxi-driver Abulfath Frouzandehjoo, who now drives a Tesla 85S, monthly costs have been reduced by EUR 1500. “I am passionate about the environment and mathematics, so this was an easy choice for me. I drive an electric car to save money and save the environment from pollutants. Everyone can do their part for a better environment, especially taxi drivers who are on the road more often than others” he explains.
Executive Director of Oslo Taxi, Bjørn Rebne, sees the transition to emissions-free cars as an advantage both today and in the future, and adds: “Together with Bellona we want to host the Eco Car Day annually. We want to provide our drivers with knowledge and motivation to make the world greener”.
EV- momentum building in lead-up to COP 21
The Oslo Taxi initiative is something that countries from the EU and across the globe should draw inspiration from. On 15 October 2015 over 700 mayors from all across Europe will be gathering in Brussels to launch the new Covenant of Mayors to 2030 at a high-level ceremony featuring top officials from the EU institutions. This event aims to show that local and regional authorities can do better than national authorities when it comes to climate action. Despite cities not being formally recognised in the ‘inter-governmental’-in-nature climate negotiations, they are indeed a key and powerful player in cutting emissions.
The new Covenant of Mayors will seek to encourage local authorities to align their national action plans more closely to ongoing EU energy policies, and ensure these take inspiration from the Energy Union. Measures to accelerate EV-uptake will be a key focus area, as highlighted in the EU’s Energy Union Strategy, as these would allow for multiple benefits in terms of climate mitigation, pollution reduction, as well as energy security enhancement.
“World-wide 557,000 cities and communities spend roughly EUR 4 trillion per year – 10% of global GDP. Cities therefore have a key responsibility in ensuring their resources are spent wisely. The Norwegian EV experience shows the remarkable effect on EV uptake once fiscal incentives are put in place to render their purchase a cost-saving option” – argues Havåg.