How Can Tiny Norway Afford So Many Teslas?

Listen now:
(photo: L.C. Nøttaasen)

(photo: L.C. Nøttaasen)

Season 5, Episode 13

On this week’s episode of Freakonomics Radio:

In 2014, Tesla’s Model S became the best-selling car in Norway ever for a one-month period. Not bad for a luxury electric vehicle whose base price in Norway is over $100,000. What’s behind this Tesla boom?

And then, hear our interview with the physician/anthropologist Jim Yong Kim. He used to advocate dismantling the World Bank; now he’s running it — and is eager to apply the insights of behavioral economics to development policy.

To learn more, check out the podcasts from which this hour was drawn: How Can Tiny Norway Afford to Buy So Many Teslas?” and Hacking the World Bank.”

You can subscribe to the Freakonomics Radio podcast at iTunes or elsewhere, or get the RSS feed.


Interesting topics as usual. I was a little puzzled in the Norway piece on the insistence that their sovereign wealth policy represents a paradox or hypocrisy. It seems to make sense: recognizing that they have a valuable resource, but one which
a) will not be as valuable in the future and
b) leads to negative environmental impact through its extraction, refinement, and use,
the country has decided to
a) begin setting aside money for that future, and
b) invest in and incentivize the use of technologies that offset the environmental impact, and hopefully hasten the coming of that greener future.

With all-time lows in the cost of gas today, there's plenty of room to increase the federal gas tax in the US to pay for research and these kinds of incentives. Would that be a paradox?


Wait, I've heard this podcast before (based on the description). Is it a normal thing for Freakonomics to repost podcasts?