Photo from Electric Car Festival in Geiranger Norway
In June electric cars represented 42% of new vehicles being registrered in Norway.
While most countries have difficulties making electric cars reach 2% or 3% of their total car sales, in Norway the fleet of plug-in electric vehicles in Norway is the largest per capita in the world, with Oslo recognized as the EV capital of the world.
The country’s EV incentives, like the 25% VAT tax exemption, are helping maintain the rate of adoption about 10 times higher than most markets. In June, all-electric vehicles also reached a record 27% of new car sales with plug-in hybrids making up the difference. The record was helped by a big boost in Tesla Model X deliveries which had a record month in Norway with 609 registrations in June – enough to make it the second most popular vehicle in the country. The Model X contributed only 238 units to the last record. It was only surpassed by 874 VW e-Golfs.
Renault’s Zoe, which has been dominating electric vehicle sales in several European markets, also had a good month contributing 428 vehicles to the new record. Finally, the first shipment of the Opel Ampera E, the European version of the Chevy Bolt EV, helped by adding 389 all-electric vehicles to the total, which may have resulted in an artificial increase of EVs for the month and created the record since GM is not expected to dedicate more of its Bolt production to Opel until next year.
Nonetheless, Norway is really close to the tipping point of electric cars where they become the majority of car sales in the country, which has the goal to reach 100% of new car sales being zero-emission vehicles starting in 2025.
With several new models coming to market in Norway next year, like Tesla Model 3, Audi e-tron quattro, and hopefully, the Opel Ampera E in higher volume, this new record of 42% of car sales could quickly seem low and the 2025 goal, which is among the most aggressive of any country, is starting to look attainable.
A showcase on exponential growth
As of July 2016, the market concentration was 21.5 registered plug-in cars per 1,000 people, 14.2 times higher than the U.S., then the world’s largest country market. Norway’s fleet of electric cars is one of the cleanest in the world because 98% of the electricity generated in the country comes from hydropower. In March 2014, Norway became the first country where over one in every 100 passenger cars on the road was a plug-in electric; the segment’s market penetration passed 3% in December 2015, and ended 2016 with 5% of all passenger cars on Norwegian roads being a plug-in.
The stock of light-duty plug-in electric vehicles registered in Norway totaled more than 135,000 units at the end of December 2016, making the country the one with the largest European stock of light-duty plug-in vehicles, and the fourth largest in the world after China, the U.S. and Japan. As of December 2016, the Norwegian light-duty plug-in electric fleet consisted of over 101,000 all-electric passenger cars and vans, and about 34,400 plug-in hybrids.
The Norwegian plug-in electric vehicle market share of new car sales has been the highest in the world for several years, achieving 29.1% in 2016, up from 22.4% in 2015, and 13.8% in 2014.
The highest-ever monthly market share for the plug-in electric passenger segment was achieved in January 2017 with 37.5% of new car sales. Also in January 2017, the electrified passenger car segment, consisting of plug-in hybrids, all-electric cars and conventional hybrids, for the first time ever surpassed combined sales of cars with a conventional diesel or gasoline engine, with a market share of 51.4% of new car sales that month. Registrations of light-duty plug-in electric vehicles in Norway passed the 100,000 unit milestone in April 2016, and 100,000 all-electric vehicles in December 2016.
Also, Norway was the first country in the world to have all-electric cars topping the new car sales monthly ranking. From September 2013 to November 2016, nine times a plug-in electric car has topped the country’s monthly ranking, four times the Tesla Model S, twice the Nissan Leaf, once the Mitsubishi Outlander P-HEV, once the Tesla Model X, and once the BMW i3. In March 2014, the Tesla Model S also broke the 28-year-old record for monthly sales of a single model regardless of its power source.