Norway has become a paradise for full electric vehicles, with almost half of new cars sold there during the first six months of 2019 being battery-powered.
This is a major increase over the same period last year, when electric cars accounted for just over a quarter of the total sales in the country.
More specifically, 48.4 percent of the new cars sold from January to June were electric, according to Reuters, making Norway the leading country in per-capita EV sales by a rather large margin.
Norway’s target is to ban diesel and petrol vehicles by the middle of the next decade, with battery-electric cars being exempt from the heavy taxes applied to ICE-powered cars, as well as getting discounts on parking, tolls and car ferry fares among other benefits.
This small country has sort-of become the world’s testing ground for electric vehicles and their accompanied infrastructure. China and the US might enjoy far higher sales figures but as a proportion of the total vehicles, battery-powered cars are flooding the Norwegian roads like nowhere else.
Tesla was crowned the No.1 brand in Norway, holding a 24.5 percent share of the market after selling 3,760 cars in June. Most of its sales are of the Model 3, with the more expensive Model S and Model X seeing their numbers drop compared to previous years. The Tesla Model 3 also became Norway’s top-selling vehicle overall for the first six months of 2019.
Car makers like Hyundai, Kia, Nissan and Renault have also been boosted by Norway’s EV strategy as they are one of the few companies that offer full electric vehicles, rather than hybrids and plug-in hybrids. Ford and Mercedes are expected to join them from next year with their own purely electric models.