A 'Tesla Street' sign stands near a plot of land at the Tesla Inc. Gigafactory construction site in Gruenheide, Germany. Picture: BLOOMBERG
A 'Tesla Street' sign stands near a plot of land at the Tesla Inc. Gigafactory construction site in Gruenheide, Germany. Picture: BLOOMBERG

Copenhagen — Denmark has long sought to brand itself as one of the world’s greenest countries. So it may come as a surprise that it is also one of the most expensive places to buy Teslas and other electric cars.

Under existing Danish law, a Tesla model 3 Long Range will cost almost $100,000 in 2021 (with all the trimmings); more than a fifth of that price tag comes from an extra tax, according to data compiled by Berlingske.

On Monday, a government-appointed panel presented its recommendations for how to shift Danish buyers over to electric cars and away from petrol-powered vehicles. The proposals include lower registration tax on electric cars, including Teslas, higher petrol prices and higher road tax for conventional petrol models.

The existing framework sees Denmark collect about 50-billion krone a year in tax from car sales. A majority in parliament has signalled a willingness to accept lower revenue if it means more consumers can afford electric cars.

“We need to change the way we think about car prices,” Anders Eldrup, a former CEO at energy utility Orsted who heads the panel, told reporters in Copenhagen. “Electric cars might be more expensive, but can be cheaper in terms of overall costs.”

Green dreams

The Social Democrat government has staked its reputation on pushing through legislation that represents a paradigm shift in terms of protecting the environment. In June, MPs struck a historic deal to cut carbon emissions by 70% by 2030, from 1990 levels.

To reach that goal, which is considerably more ambitious than the EU’s 40% target over the same period, more Danes need to buy cars that pollute less.

But there is a long way to go. Though electric-vehicle sales have risen, they still make up less than 1% of the country’s 2.7-million registered vehicles, according to the Association of Danish Car Importers.

In Norway, which subsidises the purchase of clean cars, almost 50% of new vehicles sold in 2019 were electric.

The Danish parliament will consider the proposals presented on Monday.

Bloomberg

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