Enova's support program for the purchase of electric vans was concluded on May 31st this year. The primary objective of the support program was to stimulate growth by increasing demand in the electric van market. Over the four years during which the program was in effect, the market for electric vans experienced rapid development. The number of available electric van models tripled, and there were significant improvements in the characteristics of these vehicles.
The market has responded positively to this development, with the share of electric vans in new car sales experiencing substantial growth.
The proportion of new vans that were electric increased from 6% in 2019 to 36% in the first half of 2023.
Both surveys and interviews have confirmed that a high percentage of those who purchased electric vans intend to do so again in the future. This suggests that there has been a lasting shift in the electric vehicle market, and the market has matured considerably.
Enova's support program likely played a role in the maturation of the market. Almost 70% of van buyers who participated in our survey cited the support program as an important factor in their decision. At the same time, it's important to note that Enova's support was just one of several measures, including toll exemptions, access to public transport lanes, and exemptions from one-off fees. Therefore, it's challenging to isolate the specific impact of Enova's support from that of other measures.
We also evaluated the application process itself, where Enova implemented an automated solution for the first time. Applications were submitted through car dealers or leasing companies and were processed immediately using automated methods. The calculation of support amounts went through two phases. Initially, there were three fixed support amounts. Subsequently, Enova transitioned to automatically calculating support amounts using machine learning, based on the current market price of the electric van compared to an equivalent fossil fuel vehicle. While most applicants were satisfied with the automated process, some found the machine learning model somewhat unpredictable and potentially susceptible to exploitation by car dealers. Nonetheless, this model has the potential to calculate a more precise subsidy amount for each individual vehicle compared to using fixed rates.
The evaluation was conducted in collaboration with Vista Analyse. The report (in Norwegian) can be directly downloaded by clicking the link below.