False alarm: Report claiming Norway will ditch diesel & petrol cars in 2025 is 'misleading'

© Carlos Garcia Rawlins
When a report emerged that Norway was banning the new sales of diesel and petrol cars in 2025, the country made headlines across the globe. But the story wasn't actually true, according to the conservative Høyre party.

The original headline was featured on the front page of Dagens Næringsliv (DN) on Friday, stating that the government coalition and its two support parties had reached a deal to stop the sale of diesel and petrol vehicles by 2025.

“There will only be sales of zero-emissions vehicles in 2025,” the newspaper quoted Ola Elvestuen from the Liberal Party as saying.

The article prompted other media outlets to follow suit, writing their own stories and citing DN as the source.

The story even led to Norway receiving a pat on the back from Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors – a company known for its designing and manufacturing of electric cars.

“Just heard that Norway will ban new sales of fuel cars in 2025. What an amazingly awesome country. You guys rock!!” Musk tweeted.

But as Musk and environmentalists across the globe celebrated Norway's progressive plan, the conservative party called the article “misleading.”

“The government and its partners agree on a new step on the way towards a low-emission society...but there is no talk of banning the sale of diesel and petrol vehicles in 2025 as one would be led to believe in Dagens Næringsliv,” the party said in a press release, as quoted by The Local.

Elvestuen also stepped forward after the report's publication, clarifying that the parties had only agreed to “set target numbers for how many low- and zero emissions” cars there should be in Norway in 2025. The agreement is aimed at reaching climate goals due to be presented next year as part of the country's national transport plan.

“We have not reached an agreement on how to reach the goals,” he said.

Although it seems Norway isn't quite ready to ditch traditional cars by 2025, the country is still a leader when it comes to environmentally-friendly vehicles.

Last year, 17.1 percent of new car registrations were zero-emissions vehicles, giving Norway the highest market share for clean vehicles anywhere in the world. The country also has a small ownership of cars, accounting for less than 1 percent of all vehicles in Europe.