Norway remains one of the most fascinating auto markets in the world. With a 70% plug-in vehicle market share in the first 4 months of 2020, there is nothing that comes close to it. That isn’t an overnight figure either — the country has been far ahead of any other market in terms of plug-in vehicle market share for several years.
Also, the model split in PEV sales looks much more similar to a “normal” auto market — except electric — than most others.
That said, the market leader is now a vehicle that would typically be outside the price range of a working class family in other countries, but Norway is a rich country (very rich country) with adventurous terrain, so it makes a bit of sense. The Audi e-tron isn’t just first — it’s far ahead in the #1 spot so far this year. That is blasphemy to many a Tesla fan (I personally can’t imagine buying one over a Tesla Model X), but the vehicle checks a long list of boxes for what a desirable vehicle should be in a Norwegian’s eyes — premium class, large, German brand, high-quality build, long range, fast charging capability, abundant service centers. That apparently is what you need to get 12% of the overall auto market.
A German model that was in the #1 spot for many, many months, the Volkswagen e-Golf, is solidly in second at 6% market share. After that, you’ve got the Nissan LEAF, Hyundai Kona EV, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, Tesla Model 3, Renault Zoe, BMW i3, and then a long tail of remaining PEVs. You also have a handful of plug-less vehicles scattered into the overall sales rankings (see charts below).
The #5 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is the only model with a gas tank in the top 8, and we can see that it is now losing out to the Audi e-tron by a large margin. Two conventional hybrids finish out the top 10, but one has to wonder how much longer they can hold off the electric revolution.
It will be interesting to see how the market shakes out as more models designed electric from the ground up start hitting the Norwegian market: the Volkswagen ID.3 and ID.4, the Tesla Model Y and Cybertruck, the Ford Mustang Mach-E even. How will they perform in rocky and rugged (but rich as hell) Norway?
Also, let’s just say it: isn’t it time for the country to just shut off sales of fossil fuel vehicles altogether? Who’s still buying these things anyway? Doesn’t everyone and their grandmother have experience with a plug by now? (I know, I’m being impatient with the #1 EV market in the world, which is perhaps completely illogical, but I can’t help it — they’re so close to 100% electrified vehicle sales!)
Top image courtesy Audi