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Published on July 9th, 2020 | by Zachary Shahan


69% of Autos Sold in Norway in 2020 Have a Plug

July 9th, 2020 by  

Norway continues to be a shining star in the electric vehicle world. In the first half of the year, 48% of automobiles sold in the country were fully electric, a global record for EV market share. Plug-in vehicles represented 69% of auto sales, another global record.

Due to its high level of maturation and the fact that almost every automaker that wants to sell cars in Norway tries to sell plug-ins, the sales split is particularly interesting between the various models.

As it turns out, Volkswagen Group has become king of Norway. (Whoops, Norway actually has a king, King Harald V, so maybe I shouldn’t use that metaphor.) The top selling Audi e-tron holds a whopping 9% of the auto market, showing that while the electric SUV from Germany may not be a favorite of Tesla fans, it is much loved in Norway. (Though, keep the e-tron in mind, because we’ll come back to it.)

The e-tron’s rather elderly cousin, the Volkswagen e-Golf, has a strong command of the #2 spot thanks to its 6% of the market in the first half of the year.

Korea’s Hyundai Kona EV, 2019 CleanTechnica Car of the Year, and Japan’s Nissan LEAF continue the popularity of cheaper, low-frills models for the next two spots, each with 4% auto market share. It’s not until you get to #5 that you hit your first automobile model that isn’t fully electric, with the evergreen Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV holding onto a top spot a bit longer.

The two most popular plug-in models in Europe, the Tesla Model 3 and Renault Zoe, round out the top 7 before you run into your first plug-less vehicle, the Skoda Octavia.

José Pontes of EV Volumes and CleanTechnica notes that the Skoda Octavia PHEV is coming, which one would assume to have very good sales in the country. Pontes also notes that fully electric vehicles saw their sales drop 32% in June 2020 versus June 2019 but plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) had sales increase 77%. A highly unusual phenomenon in this covid era.

June actually looked very different from the first half of the year as a whole. The top 5 is completely different. The Volkswagen e-Golf and Hyundai Kona EV each climbed one rung of the ladder to take gold and silver, respectively, while the Tesla Model 3 jumped to #3 (thanks to its usual end-of-quarter bump that comes from Tesla’s unusual delivery schedule). A much bigger jump, the Volvo XC40 PHEV jumps from outside the top 20 (year-to-date sales) to #4 in June! It’s not clear if there was a big fleet deal, a fire sale on the XC40 PHEV, or something else spurred on this surprise jump.

Where is the Audi e-tron in that top 5? Good question. We’ll see if it can recover to hold onto its enormous 2020 lead or if something happened that has turned the tide in Norway.

Getting back to the yearly ranking, Chinese automaker SAIC’s MG ZS EV rose into a top 20 spot (#18) and the Volvo S/V60 PHEV barely climbed to 20. However, Pontes points out that hot sibling XC40 PHEV is bound to boot the S/V60 duo off the list soon, as it is now in the #21 position.

Regarding overall brand market share, Pontes says, “Looking at the overall manufacturers ranking, Volkswagen (13%, up 1%) is now alone in the leadership, with Audi (10%, down 2%) dropping share, with the #3 Toyota (9%) in third.”

Expect Norway’s EV market to continue maturing and plug-in models to continue growing their market share as new plug-in models go on sale this year. Given how hard it is to sell a non-electric vehicle in the country, automakers have gotten the message and prioritize their electric models as much as they can. 


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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in NIO [NIO], Tesla [TSLA], and Xpeng [XPEV]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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