Norway’s Best Ever January At 81% Plugin Electric Vehicle Share

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Norway, the world’s leading nation in the electric vehicle transition, saw 80.7% plugin share in January, significant growth from the 64.4% of a year ago. The overall auto market was up 7.7% in volume year-on-year, with the country’s bestsellers being the Audi e-tron and Peugeot e-2008.

January’s combined plugin result of 80.66% comprised just over 53.0% full battery electrics (BEVs) and just over 27.6% plugin hybrids (PHEVs), a slight swing toward PHEVs from full year 2020’s contributions.

January is historically one of the lowest months of the year for plugin share, with the later full year share typically 5% to 10% higher, and the September and December peaks much higher still. For January to be already over 80% share (and well above 2020’s full year 75%) bodes well for this year’s plugin share in Norway.

January’s Best Selling BEVs

The strong January result was achieved despite a recovery period with thin delivery volumes from last year’s BEV hard-charging runner ups, the Tesla Model 3 and Volkswagen ID.3. The Audi e-tron held on to its customary top spot however:

Strong volume by the Peugeot e-2008, the Volvo XC40 and Polestar 2 saw them join the Mercedes-Benz EQC and Nissan LEAF in the top 6 positions in January, from much lower positions last year. Notice that the majority of the vehicles on the top 10 list are in the CUV or SUV format.

Peugeot e-2008. Image Courtesy: Peugeot

What does the rest of 2021 hold for Norway’s plugin electric market? With several new models arriving this year, including small and medium CUVs and SUVs like the Volkswagen ID.4, the Tesla Model Y, the Mustang Mach-E, and many more, the spectrum of compelling choices is quickly filling out.

I would be surprised if we don’t see one of the later months this year achieving 93% to 95% share (recall that December 2020 saw over 87% share). The country’s 2025 goal of having 100% of new passenger vehicle sales being full electric also now looks assured. PHEVs are still playing a role right now, but a steadily diminishing one as full battery electrics get ever more capable and affordable, and the DC charging network continues to improve.

What are your thoughts on the remaining path to 100% in Norway? Please let us know 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 MaximilianHolland.com, or contact him via LinkedIn.

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