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Norway's low emission zones explained

Norway has two environmental zones. From 2025 onwards, the country does not want to allow any new combustion cars. This may not even be necessary, because no internal combustion cars are expected to be added as early as around 2022, if sales of electric cars continue as they have been.

Norway has two environmental zones in the two largest cities. One of them is in Bergen. When this low emission zone is activated, you are only allowed to drive from the suburb of Nattland in the south to Nyhavn in the north if you have the appropriate car licence plates. On even days, diesel and petrol cars with an odd last number on the number plate are allowed to drive, on odd days only those with an even last number. This is mainly about the E39 thoroughfare that runs through the entire environmental zone.

The second low emission zone is in Oslo. It covers the whole city except for the main roads that cross the city. If the limit values are exceeded there, diesel trucks with Euro standards 0 to 5 are no longer allowed to drive: These are all trucks that were first in operation by 1 January 2011. For passenger cars, vans and buses, the regulations are somewhat stricter. Diesel vehicles of these types will then no longer be allowed to drive at all.

There is also a toll in Oslo. In order for the toll to be charged correctly, you have to register online. The toll booths in Oslo are divided into three rings: Indre ring (inner city ring), Osloringen (middle ring) and Bygrensen (city limits). How much you end up paying is anything but easy to figure out. It depends on the time of year, the time of day and also the direction of travel. Cameras that record the licence plates register where and when you entered a zone. This is used to calculate the amount for which you will be sent a bill, even abroad. Vehicles heavier than 3.5 tonnes have to pay more. Of the electric vehicles, only those heavier than 3.5 tonnes are exempt from the toll. On the two inner rings, you have to pay every time you pass a toll station. On the outermost ring only in one direction, namely when entering the city.

If Norwegians continue to be so diligent in converting their vehicle fleet to electric, soon only electric cars could be driving in Norway. You can read all about it in this blog. You can find out everything you need to know about the environmental zones in Norway and elsewhere in Europe in our Green Zones app.