Norway continues to sit at the forefront of EV adoption as almost a third of new cars sold in the Scandinavian country in 2018 were fully electric.
EV sales rose to 31.2 percent of all sales last year, up from 20.8 percent in 2017 and just 5.5 percent in 2013, according to the independent Norwegian Road Federation (NRF) cited by Reuters. Remarkably, if plug-in hybrid vehicles were added to EVs, they would make up 49.1 percent of the market.
Sales of all-electric cars rose 40 percent to 46,092 in 2018, while sales of diesel vehicles fell 28 percent. Gasoline car sales were down 17 percent while hybrids lost 20 percent. Interestingly, the second-generation Nissan Leaf was the top-selling car overall in Norway last year. Tesla also had a very good year in Norway, with 8,623 deliveries — up 161 units from 2017.
Overall, Norway’s new car market shrunk 6.8 percent in 2018 to 147,929 vehicles, as sales of gasoline and diesel cars plummeted.
2018 EV sales mark a new record as Norway wants to terminate sales of internal combustion vehicles by 2025 in order to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions. Obviously, such a rapid expansion of electric vehicles wouldn’t have been possible without the government’s involvement.
Norway exempts battery-powered cars from most taxes and offers benefits such as free parking and charging points for EVs. However, some analysts are skeptical about Norway touching its 2025 goal for emissions-free new cars. They believe EV growth is limited by the fact that too many people don’t have a private parking space and are reluctant about buying an electric car if they can’t set up a charging point at home.
With Tesla starting Model 3 deliveries in Norway this year, EV sales are set to see an even bigger boost in 2019. Earlier this year, it was reported that Norway had 30,000 pre-orders for electric vehicles, mostly Tesla Model 3 and Audi e-tron.