Norway Hits 64.4% EV Market Share In January, Up 24% Year On Year

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Norway, the undisputed global leader in the EV transition, hit 64.4% EV market share in January, with over 44% share for pure electrics and 20% for plug-in hybrids. This best-ever-January result was achieved before 2020 shipments of the top selling Tesla Model 3 have even arrived in the country, with the Audi e-tron (902 units) and Renault Zoe (533 units) seeing the highest January volumes.

Chart © Max Holland / CleanTechnica

Click on the chart to zoom in. I’ve added the trend line (January 2019 to January 2020, rising 24% in relative terms) to cut through the monthly noise. January 2020 not only trends higher on a year-on-year basis, but also higher than 2019’s overall market share of 56%. Norway’s EV transition is well past the halfway mark, and is still moving quickly towards completion.

End-of-quarter periods clearly show the Tesla European shipping cycle, which will continue until Tesla Gigafactory Berlin starts production at some point in the coming 12 to 24 months. In 2020, with growing European EV supply volumes from other automakers, the quarterly cycles will be less pronounced, but still noticeable.

Tesla Model 3 in Barcelona © Max Holland / CleanTechnica

With Tesla’s European deliveries coming on strong towards the end of the quarter, we should again see record EV market share being broken in March 2020, with likely 75% to 80% or more of all passenger auto sales being EVs, up from March 2019’s 69%.

Rest of Europe

Back in 2015, Norway saw 14% EV market share, which is approximately the share that Sweden saw last year (2019, 15% market share). Does this mean it will take another 4 or 5 years for Sweden to reach where Norway is today?

Not quite. January 2020 has already seen Sweden hit over 30% market share (look out for more detail coming soon), though it remains open whether the full year share will maintain these levels. Important to note — Sweden’s auto market, at around 350,000 units per year, is around 2.5× the size of Norway’s.

Renault Zoe. Image courtesy Renault Press Images

We’ve seen that France — Europe’s second or third largest auto market (vying annually with the UK) — has just hit 11% EV market share in January. We’re currently waiting on January figures from Germany and the UK. The other large European markets of Italy and Spain also hit record market shares last month (2.1% and 4%, respectively).

A smaller market (~225,000 annual auto sales) punching well above its weight in EVs is Portugal, having just hit 11% market share. We’re currently on the lookout for strong January performances from Switzerland, Finland, and Iceland (no data just yet, stay tuned).

What’s your best guess as to European EV market shares in 2020? Please give us your thoughts in the comments.

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Dr. Maximilian Holland

Max is an anthropologist, social theorist and international political economist, trying to ask questions and encourage critical thinking. He has lived and worked in Europe and Asia, and is currently based in Barcelona. Find Max's book on social theory, follow Max on twitter @Dr_Maximilian and at, or contact him via LinkedIn.

Dr. Maximilian Holland has 398 posts and counting. See all posts by Dr. Maximilian Holland