Norway has never been “blessed” with an auto industry, save for its role as provider of parts to car makers throughout Europe, not exactly in demand these days. With an international auto industry threatening to file for bankruptcy, drastic measures have been made to keep it afloat, both in terms of governmental bailouts and a massive reorientation towards environment-friendly cars.
One would think that electric vehicle producers have a field day, all things considered. In Norway not so. In spite of the country’s apparent financial success amid global recession (I suggest you read this NYT article on the matter), electric vehicle manufacturer Think, on the outskirts of the capital, lacks funding to uphold its production. With order books brimming, the company finds itself unable to meet the demand – at all. Not a single car leaves the factory, while Norwegian authorities have turned down a popular plea for financial support, unlike what we’ve seen in other countries.
I was appalled to learn this from the TV news the other day, but decided against acting on it, blogging, that is, until I’d had time to give it some thought, but have landed on the same conclusion again:
While our government eagerly advocates a viable and environmental friendly economy, there’s no getting around the fact that it also profits immensely on continued exploitation of the country’s oil and gas resources, thereby eliminating any trace of credibility in environmental matters (continues under picture).
Has it occurred to them that EV manufacturing could become a great source of income, too? A viable one at that.
Shame on you, Mister Stoltenberg.
See also Norwegian car making: Contradiction in terms (15 December 2008).
Photo: The Think Ox