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Published on March 7th, 2020 | by Dr. Maximilian Holland

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Norway Rises Above 68% Plug-In Vehicle Market Share In February!

March 7th, 2020 by  


Norway, the global leader in the transition to electric vehicles, has seen its strongest ever February with over 68% market share for plug-in passenger vehicles. The vast majority of plug-ins were pure electric (BEV), which took 49.7% of the overall market. Pure fossil vehicles continued their decline, to just over 20% market share.

Norway’s highest ever plug-in vehicle (EV) February market share was right off the back of its strongest ever January result. With historical data suggesting March results will be higher still, the first quarter of 2020 should comfortably achieve over 66% EV market share.

Norway’s top 5 EVs in February were: the Audi e-tron (now including the ~€48,000 “e-tron 50” variant), Volkswagen e-Golf, Nissan LEAF, Renault Zoe, and Hyundai Kona EV. Meanwhile, Tesla has not yet prioritised 2020 cross-Atlantic shipments of the Model 3 (2019’s overwhelming best seller) to Norway. There will likely be a Model 3 surge in March, further boosting the country’s overall EV market share for Q1.

Audi e-tron. Image courtesy Audi.

With available volumes of EVs increasing, model variety improving, ever more affordable pricing, and maturing infrastructure, the Norwegian EV transition is continuing at speed. The country is currently trending towards ~66% EV market share for full-year 2020, up from 56% in 2019. The Norwegian combustion vehicle market is now in its endgame, and foreshadows the ultimate fate for the aging technology across global markets.

Norway took around 4.5 years (2013–2018) to move from 10% to 50% EV market share, in an era when EV model options were fewer, supply was often limited, and prices and technical performance (notably, range & charging) were not as competitive as current EV models.

Following pioneering Norway, Europe’s largest auto markets of Germany, France, and the UK are all now knocking on the door of 10% EV market share, with France seeing 11% market share in January of this year. Crucially, EVs in mainstream affordable segments will soon undercut combustion peers on upfront sticker price (EVs already have vastly superior total cost of ownership).

Thus, there’s every reason to expect that these large European markets will also cross the 50% EV market share threshold over the next 4 to 5 years, and perhaps sooner.

EV adoption trend © Zach Shahan / CleanTechnica

By virtue of its outstanding market share, Norway’s relatively small auto market is trending not far from 90,000–100,000 EV sales for full-year 2020, putting it close to much larger Sweden (trending towards 110,000 EV sales). The other largest European EV markets by volume are the UK (trending towards 130,000+ in 2020), France (170,000+), and Germany (250,000+). Together, these 5 large EV markets are tracking to comprise over 70% of Europe’s 2020 EV sales. We’ll bring you the February updates for Germany, France, UK, and Sweden shortly.

Thanks go to Norway for being the pioneer! 

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About the Author

Max is an anthropologist, social theorist and international political economist, trying to ask questions and encourage critical thinking about social and environmental justice, sustainability and the human condition. 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 MaximilianHolland.com, or contact him via LinkedIn.



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