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Can Huge Tax Break Persuade Denmark's Drivers To Buy EVs?

Today’s New York Times says that Denmark is offering a minimum $40,000 tax break for the purchase of new electric cars, in hopes of spurring the sale of EVs to skeptical Danish drivers.

“But even in Denmark, one of the most environmentally-conscious nations in the world, skepticism abounds,” the newspaper article says. “It is not clear that car buyers can be persuaded to make the switch.”

One key element in the plan is the availability of battery-swap stations in the country. Better Place, the maker of a technology that could enable car owners to quickly change out their depleted electric car batteries, is making a big push in an effort to help Denmark supplant the internal combustion engine. But the newspaper says that Better Place founder Shai Agassi has been coming up short on his promises to line Danish streets with battery charging stations. “In January, 2009, Mr. Agassi promised that Denmark would have 100,000 charging spots in place and several thousand cars on the road by 2010. But with that deadline approaching, no Better Place cars are on the road and only 55 charging spots are ready,” NYT says.

NYT concludes that the eventual combination of an advanced EV and practical charging options from companies such as Better Place will be the first real test of whether the $40,000 tax break is enough to spur a massive change.

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