Hydrogen vehicles granted accessed to coveted taxi and bus lanes in Norway

Publish date: April 22, 2005

Restricted taxi and bus lanes have for years ensured an easy and trouble-free way of getting from A to B in overcrowded city-roads in Norway. Now, this benefit is being introduced to the country’s hydrogen vehicles. The Bellona Foundation, a strong proponent of a hydrogen based economy, believes this will make hydrogen very attractive as a fuel.

In 2003 the taxi and bus lanes in Oslo were opened for electric vehicles as well. As a result, commuters and city-dwellers saw the benefits of getting around more easily in pollution-free electric cars. The demand for electric vehicles rose significantly as a result. Unfortunately, the supply of electric vehicles was at an all time low, due to the production stand-still at the Norwegian electric car maker, Think.

Nevertheless, the experiment was a success and the Norwegian government has now decided to extend this hassle-free commuting benefit to both electric and hydrogen car users in every Norwegian city. It is likely that this travel benefit will mean more to the car consumers than even the recently issued tax-relief for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, though the two measures are an excellent compliment.

The disadvantage of low availability of filling stations, expensive vehicles and their short range is likely outweighed by the advantage of easy and drastically increased accessibility. The contour of an early market for hydrogen vehicles is thus emerging in Norway.