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Norway’s 100% EV goal is in sight.

Years ago, Norway decided it wanted to encourage the sales of electric cars and boy howdy, did it ever! It made them exempt from the sales taxes that buyers of conventional cars pay, and added in a bunch of other incentives ranging from rebates to free parking in cities, an exemption from paying tolls on highways, free passage on the nation’s extensive network of ferries, and a big push to get EV chargers installed everywhere.

The objective was to get to the point where EVs were the only new cars sold in Norway by 2025. According to the Norwegian Automobile Federation, based on the latest sales data from Norway’s Road Traffic Information Council, the last internal combustion engine vehicle is set to leave the dealership next April — 3 years ahead of schedule.

The trend has been clear for some time. In 2017, sales of gasoline and diesel cars were 50% of the market in Norway. So far this year, they are less than 10% (4.93% gasoline, 4.73% diesel). A year ago, they were at 25%.

We need to be clear here. The numbers for electric car sales include conventional hybrids — you know, the “self-charging electric cars” Toyota sells. But those are responsible for only 10% of new car sales in Norway. The rest are either battery-electrics or plug-in hybrids.

In fact, the Toyota RAV4 PHEV is the second bestselling car in Norway. The rest are all pure battery-electrics, with the Tesla Model 3 in first place and the Volkswagen ID.4, Volvo XC40, and Ford Mustang Mach-E in third, fourth, and fifth place, respectively. The bestselling car with an internal combustion engine is the Volkswagen Tiguan, which is way down in 38th place on the new car sales chart.

Thor Egil Braadlandhe, the government’s representative to NAF,  says, “New car sales of petrol and diesel cars are dying out in Norway. If the trend continues from the last four years, sales will be over during the first half of 2022. It is far earlier than even the most optimistic electric car enthusiasts thought possible.”

Before you go dancing in the streets to celebrate the demise of stinky, smelly infernal combustion engines, be aware that conventional cars are not going away completely any time soon. Erik Andresen, the CEO of Norway’s National Association of Car Importers says, “I do not think sales of pure petrol and diesel cars go completely to zero, because there are always some with needs that only such cars cover. But the small petrol cars will be replaced first. The bigger and more powerful the car, the greater the chance that there are customers who need one of these that are constantly delivered with a petrol or diesel engine.”

Braadland agrees. “It will still be possible to get a petrol or diesel car for many years to come. And there will be a good second hand market for these cars for many years.” According to Australia’s Drive, his point is backed up by data that shows 7 out of every 8 cars bought and sold in Norway is a used car. So far, sales of electric cars amount to only 12% of the used car market.

“Most people still own a used petrol or diesel car,” says Braadland. “Around 85 per cent of cars on Norwegian roads still have a petrol or diesel engine. But new car sales show that we see the beginning of the end for the fossil-powered car.”

According to NAF, tax incentives began the shift to electric vehicles, but now manufacturers have taken over. “The big drivers now are increasing selection, longer range, lower battery prices, and the EU’s climate policy. All the major car manufacturers now have a plan to electrify the car fleet. They have decided,” says Braadland.

Nothing good lasts forever. Now that the push to get electric cars on the road in Norway has been so successful, the government is rethinking its incentives. According to CarScoops, the country‘s next government is expected to be led by a member of the Labor party, which may introduce a 25% surcharge on electric cars that sell for more than 600,000 NOK ($69,882). A Porsche Taycan, for example, which starts at 777,000 NOK ($90,621), would pay a tax of 44,250 Norwegian crowns ($5,160).

The Labor party says that this policy is the result of a sense of fairness. “It is a subsidy. And the more expensive the car is, the bigger the subsidy,” Svein Roald Hansen, a Labor party tax policy specialist, told Reuters. “We have in the last couple of years received a lot of new models. There are plenty to choose from for those who still want to buy a car while there is a tax exemption,” Hansen said.

No less an authority than the International Monetary Fund has weighed in on Norway’s EV incentive policies, claiming its blanket tax exemption has cost the government 19.2 billion NOK. The money raised by a tax on more expensive electric cars could be put to use supporting other environmental policies.

The Norwegian EV Association, known as Elbil, argues this is a bad time to interfere with one environmental policy (the EV tax break) in favor of another whose outcomes are unknown. “Now finally the more rural areas are starting to buy more electric cars and it’s not the time to remove the tax exemption because we need to also get these areas with higher market shares,” said Christina Bu, Elbil’s leader.

It does seem more than a little odd that the IMF should think the Norwegian government needs any assistance from it to figure out what is best for its citizens. Now it will be up to the voters in Norway to decide who should lead them going forward.

The EV revolution has already succeeded in Norway. There is simply no going back now, which is pretty much what the government hoped for when it created its electric car incentive policies in the first place. People who live in Norway now breathe fewer pollutants and can expect to live longer. There are some benefits that are hard to quantify in monetary terms.

Germany, Europe’s largest auto market, saw plugin electric vehicle market share of 28.7% in September 2021, up almost 2x year-on-year. Full electrics alone took...

France, Europe’s second largest auto market, saw plugin electric vehicle share jump up to a record 21.5% in September, over twice the 10.6% share...

Norway’s plugin electric vehicle market share in September broke new ground, hitting 91.5% with full electrics alone taking 77.5% share. Diesels lost more than...

Originally published by Union of Concerned Scientists, The Equation. By Jonna Hamilton, Director of Policy, the Clean Transportation Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.

Local breast cancer survivor advocates for preventative care

41 Action News 09 October, 2021 - 05:32pm

In Candid Photos, Shannen Doherty Shows the Ravages of Breast Cancer

Channels Television 09 October, 2021 - 10:53am

The actress, 50, who has Stage 4 cancer, said she posted the photos to help raise awareness about breast cancer prevention.

One picture shows the actress Shannen Doherty completely bald, a bloody cotton ball in her nose as she stares straight at the camera, looking almost confrontational.

Another is more playful — Ms. Doherty, 50, is in bed wearing Cookie Monster pajamas and a Cookie Monster eye mask. She confesses to how exhausted she is, how the chemotherapy she has had to undergo for Stage 4 breast cancer has left her plagued by bloody noses.

“Is it all pretty? NO but it’s truthful and my hope in sharing is that we all become more educated, more familiar with what cancer looks like,” Ms. Doherty wrote on Instagram this week.

The images are unsettling to any member of Generation X who remembers her as Brenda Walsh, the feisty, polarizing teenager she played for four years on the hit 1990s show “Beverly Hills, 90210,” which brought her international fame and infamy.

Ms. Doherty said she was posting the images as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the hopes that they will jar people into getting mammograms and regular breast exams and help people cut through “the fear and face whatever might be in front of you.”

The unvarnished photos align with the frank nature of an actress who never seemed interested in being universally liked and are likely to resonate with a public that is reconsidering how female celebrities were treated in the 1990s and early 2000s, said Kearston Wesner, an associate professor of media studies at Quinnipiac University who teaches celebrity culture.

“The photos aren’t touched up,” Professor Wesner said. “They’re not presented in any way than the reality she’s going through. There is some feeling that when she is communicating with you, she is coming from an authentic place.”

Ms. Doherty said she learned she had breast cancer in 2015. Since then, she said she has had a mastectomy, as well as radiation and chemotherapy treatment.

The photos, which have been viewed about 280,000 times, have elicited comments of sympathy, admiration and praise on her Instagram account, which has more than 1.8 million followers.

“Love you Shan,” wrote Ian Ziering, one of her former co-stars on “Beverly Hills, 90210.”

“You are a force, Sister!” wrote Kelly Hu, an actress.

Ms. Doherty did not often get such adulation when she was younger.

In the early 1990s, Ms. Doherty, who was only 19 when she started acting on “90210,” was eviscerated by the press and many in the public who criticized her for smoking in clubs, her tumultuous love life and reports that she was difficult on set.

Her character was an outspoken, headstrong and temperamental teenager who had sex with her boyfriend, fought with her friends and rebelled against her father.

Brenda Walsh was “relatable in an uncomfortable way,” said Kat Spada, a host of “The Blaze,” a podcast devoted to discussing “90210.”

In hindsight, the backlash from fans against the character of Brenda Walsh, and by extension Ms. Doherty, may have been a result of seeing themselves in both women, said Lizzie Leader, the other host of the podcast.

“We always ask guests about their ‘90210’ journey and we ask which character they most relate to or identify with,” Ms. Leader said. “Everyone is almost always a Brenda.”

But back when the show was airing, some fans became so consumed with vitriol for the character that they began calling for Ms. Doherty to be fired.

They formed an “I Hate Brenda” club. MTV News dedicated a three-plus-minute segment to the sentiment, quoting people who mocked her looks and her decision to attend the Republican National Convention in 1992. One clip in the MTV segment showed a group of partygoers hitting a “Brenda piñata.”

She left “Beverly Hills, 90210” in 1994, then went on to appear in the 1995 movie “Mallrats” and several television movies and shows. In 2019, she appeared in a brief reboot of the original “90210” called “BH90210.”

In an interview with The New York Times in 2008, Ms. Doherty said that the bad publicity around her was often based on exaggerations or “completely false” stories.

“I really could care less about it anymore,” she said in the interview. “I have nothing to apologize for. Whatever I did was my growing-up process that I needed to go through, that anybody my age goes through. And however other people may have reacted to that is their issue.”

If you were a fan of Ms. Doherty, the headlines hurt, said Professor Wesner, 45, who watched Ms. Doherty grow from a child actor in “Little House on the Prairie” into roles like Heather Duke in the 1988 movie “Heathers,” and Brenda Walsh.

“She meant a lot to me,” said Professor Wesner. “I myself was an outspoken girl and I’ve gotten slammed for it, too. For me, seeing someone who was also outspoken and also a ‘difficult woman’ was satisfying.”

The coverage of Ms. Doherty was reflective of a time “when publications would attack, would fat shame, would ugly shame, would anorexia shame,” said Stephen Galloway, the dean of the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University in Orange, Calif., and a former executive editor of The Hollywood Reporter. “There was no line between taste and vulgarity. It was anything goes.”

And it severely damaged Ms. Doherty’s career, he said.

Her decision to document the effects of cancer is “a great step toward redemption and meaningfulness” that could help people, said Mr. Galloway, who said he learned about a week ago that he was in the early stages of cancer.

He said Ms. Doherty’s openness had made him feel more comfortable talking about his own diagnosis.

“I looked at her and I thought, ‘what courage,’” Mr. Galloway said.

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