Published on July 16th, 2015 | by James Ayre


23% Of New Cars In Norway Now Electric Cars

July 16th, 2015 by  

Originally published on EV Obsession.

Electric car sales keep climbing and climbing in Norway. In 2013, many of us were shocked to learn that electric cars were account for about 10–15% of new car sales in the country. We are now well aware of the fact that the Norway electric vehicle market is in a league of its own, and just yesterday I wrote about the breakdown of June electric car sales in the picturesque country. But I skipped one important note, the percentage of new car sales that were electric car sales.

Jeff Cobb reminded me of this important matter when he published an article yesterday highlighting that 22.9% of new cars in Norway are now plug-in electrified cars. And if you want some serious perspective here, catch this line: “Comprised of battery electric cars and plug-in hybrids, if the same thing were to happen in the US on a percentage basis, it would have meant 1,943,177 new PEVs on American roads since January.” We have 50,503 new PEVs on our roads since January, about 2.6% of that number….


And while PEV sales in some countries, like the Netherlands, are dominated by plug-in hybrids, Norwegians are big fans of the fully electric models. Since January, 18.4% of all new cars registered in Norway have been fully electric cars, while 4.5% have been plug-in hybrids.

Now for the depressing context: It takes a long time to shift the entire vehicle fleet. Norway’s 62,500 or so PEVs just represent about 2.4% of the 2.6 million cars on Norway’s roads.

Norway EV Sales 2014 - June 2015

Anyway, though, this is supposed to be a fun post, so here’s one more statistic I imagine you’ll enjoy: the top-selling Volkswagen e-Golf = 71% of all Volkswagen Golf models sold in Norway since January. The #2 Tesla Model S, meanwhile, recently had its top-end P85D trim voted the best car in Norway, beating out the Mercedes AMG GTS, Ferrari 458 Speciale, Jaguar F-Type AWD 3.0, BMW X6M, and every other car on the market.

For much more on why electric cars are so popular in Norway, see these exclusives:

Top-Selling Cars In Norway Now Electric Cars (Two Months In A Row) — 4 Reasons Why

Norwegian Electric Car User Findings (10 Charts)

And this piece and video, too:

How Electric Vehicles Went Mainstream In Norway

Top Chart via “Norwegian electric car user experiences” study, conducted by Petter Haugneland and Hans Håvard Kvisle of the Norwegian Electric Vehicles Association.

Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

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About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

  • Was there no question in the incentives list for reduced air pollution? Even though it’s not in the list, I expect it was an incentive for very many of these EV buyers.

  • neroden

    This raises the real question which I’d like to see surveyed: what’s stopping the other 77%?

    Perhaps they live in the far north with no access to charging? Perhaps they’re buying cars which are cheaper than an e-Golf? Perhaps they’re super-attached to their brand? Perhaps nobody makes the electric pickup truck they need? Or perhaps they’ve never heard of electric cars?

    Anyway, someone should do a survey: “You recently bought a new gasoline / diesel car. Why did you choose this alternative fuel vehicle over a standard electric car?” 🙂

    • James

      I imagine that there are two factors holding back the other 77%. 1) People are not confident in the actual benefits and are waiting to see how things work out for other first. Basically they think that potential benefits do not outweigh the risk that an EV might not meet their needs. 2) The current crop of EV do not meet their needs.

      I think that the first problem will naturally resolve itself over time. It just takes people to acclimate to the new concepts associated with EVs. The second problem will slowly be resolved over time as EVs and charging infrastructure mature.

  • Analogdino

    Don’t they have far more hydro generation than NA?

    • Larmion

      About 98% hydro and 1% wind. The cleanest grid in the world, in other words. Well, Iceland and Quebec come close.

      • super390

        Show these sales numbers to anti-EV trolls, especially those who call EV buyers hypocrites and even monsters. When you give people clean power generation, they will buy EVs. Problem solved.

      • Greg Hudson

        Not exactly. Tasmania has 100% hydro.

  • Adrian

    To replicate in America, we’re going to need some electric pickup trucks and S/CUVs, since they’re half of all vehicle sales. Progress is being made on the S/CUV front but more down-market choices are needed. Hopefully by 2020 there will be choices affordable by “regular people.’

  • Keanwood

    My god that’s amazing. 23% of new car sales in Norway. And that’s considering small number of makes/models available. Just imagine where they will be in 2020 once some better EVs are available. (2017 will be a big year)

    Hopefully Norway will set an example for Europe and the US.

    • Matt

      Today Norway, tomorrow the WORLD!

    • jeffhre


  • JamesWimberley

    Nudge theorists would love the ranking of incentives. Exemption from purchase tax must be worth a lot more financially than that from toll road fees, but scores lower. Perhaps not paying the toll gives owners a little status thrill every time. Policymakers should take note.

    • mike_dyke

      I think it’s a case of paying more when you initially purchase the car rather than paying every time you use the car.

      With any sort of car, you have the initial cost of the car and then fill it up with fuel/Electricity every so often to go for a drive. However, on top of that cost, you also have the “toll to use certain roads if not EV”, “high annual road tax if not EV”, “Pay for Ferries if not EV”. etc As an added bonus “Free Fuel if EV”

      It’s getting back to what driving should be like – jump in the car when you want and go whereever you want to for no (or very little) extra cost.

    • Yeah. I guess those repeated payments feel like much more of a burden than that one-time tax.

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