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ELECTRIC CARS

Electric car sales in Norway motor to new high

Sales of new electric cars in Norway hit a record high last year, sector experts said Friday, reaching 42.4 percent of all nearly-registered cars in 2019, mostly thanks to strong demand for Tesla's Model 3.

Electric car sales in Norway motor to new high
The Tesla Model 3. Photo: AFP PHOTO / TESLA MOTORS

Norway, a major oil producer that has pioneered electric mobility, offers a very advantageous tax regime for clean vehicles, making them highly competitive in cost terms against petrol and diesel vehicles.

New e-car models arriving on the market should help push their share higher still this year, said OFV, a body which monitors Norway's car market.

In 2019, 60,316 all-electric new cars were sold in Norway out of a total of 142,381, a rise of 30.8 percent from the previous year when the market share of e-cars was 31.2 percent.

The Norwegian car importer association said it expects e-cars to take a market share for new cars of 55 to 60 percent in 2020.

New models including the Volkswagen ID.3, the Ford Mustang Mach-e, the Polestar 2 and the Peugeot e-208 are expected to boost e-car sales.

“Today, in 2020 and in the years to come, a much larger range of cars is coming, with increased autonomy, greater size and in affordable price segments,” said OFV boss Øyvind Solberg Thorsen.

US firm Tesla was the biggest single seller of e-cars in Norway last year, with its latest Model 3 alone selling 15,700 units.

Norway's Electric Vehicle Association called the numbers “very positive” but told AFP it had hoped for e-cars to account for 50 percent of new car sales last year.

The association's secretary-general, Christina Bu, called on the government to maintain tax breaks for electric cars, which have become the topic of much debate in the Scandinavian country.

Norway, where electricity is almost exclusively generated by hydropower, has a 2025 target for all new cars to be zero-emission models.

Hybrid cars, which run on both thermal and electric energy, accounted for 25.9 percent of the new car market in Norway last year, while petrol and diesel cars accounted for around 16 percent each.

READ ALSO: Why Norway imported more energy than it exported in 2019

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ELECTRIC CARS

Norway reaches 50 percent electric in 2020 new car sales

Norway became the first country in the world where electric cars accounted for more than 50 percent of new registrations in 2020, according to figures published Tuesday by an industry group.

Norway reaches 50 percent electric in 2020 new car sales
Photo: AFP

According to Opplysningsradet for Veitrafikken (OFV, “Information Council for Road Traffic”), electric vehicles accounted for 54.3 percent of the new car market last year, up from 42.4 percent a year earlier.

The four best-selling models in the Nordic country were the Audi e-tron, the Tesla Model 3, the Volkswagen ID.3 and the Nissan Leaf — all fully electric.

The fifth placed car — the Volkswagen Golf — can be bought in a rechargeable version but the statistics do not differentiate the engine types.

In December, electric car sales set a monthly record in Norway with 66.7 percent, with the numbers boosted by the arrival of new models, OFV said.

Industry group Norsk elbilforening (Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association) said separately to AFP that Norway was the first country to break the overall 50 percent threshold.

Norway, the largest producer of oil in Western Europe, is making headway in electric mobility thanks to heavy subsidies.

The Nordic country, where electricity is primarily produced from hydroelectric dams, aims to have all new cars being “zero emission” by 2025.

READ ALSO: Ten things in Norway that are actually quite cheap 

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