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Norway At 84.7% Plugin EV Share In July – Mustang Mach-E Bestseller

Norway, the world’s leading country in the electric transport revolution, saw plugin electric vehicles take 84.7% of new auto sales in July 2021, up from 68.4% in July 2020. This is a great result in the context of 2021’s favourite vehicle, the Tesla Model 3, not shipping in any significant volume in July. Diesels fell to a record low of 4.1%, and petrols scarcely faired better at 4.3%. The Ford Mustang Mach-E was July’s top seller.

 

July’s 84.7% plugin result comprised 64.1% full electrics (BEVs) and 20.6% plugin hybrids (PHEVs), a similar ratio to recent months. Cumulative plugin share for 2021 year-to-date now stands at 82.9%, with BEVs at just over 58%.

Most Popular BEVs

With Norway’s year-to-date favourite BEV, the Tesla Model 3, not receiving any international shipment in July, last month’s runner up, the Ford Mustang Mach-E, was able to grab the top spot once more (following its initial win in May).

Smoothing out monthly ups and downs; the trailing 3 months have seen these top two BEVs almost neck-and-neck – with the Ford at 3562 units vs the Tesla’s 3704 units. This is a great result for the Ford newcomer, although arguably it may still be enjoying a short-lived honeymoon as a new model. Both vehicles’ results are limited by available supply volumes, and time will tell what the sustained market appetite might be for these models.

Meanwhile the Volkswagen ID.4 continues to put in a decent performance in the year-to-date chart (below), though the Ford is catching up. The VW’s trailing 3 month volume is 2085 units, well down from the Ford and Tesla.

The VW ID.4 however is only one of the VW Group’s MEB SUV offerings (the Skoda Enyaq and Audi Q4 e-tron are its siblings). The Skoda Enyaq, although starting later than the ID.4 has already overtaken it on pro rata volume, with the past three months seeing 2444 deliveries. Taken together, these 3 are therefore now dominating, with 4958 units sold over the trailing 3 months, way ahead of even the Tesla. The Audi Q4 e-tron has only just started ramping, so expect the MEB SUV domination to grow in the future.

As many have predicted, the Audi Q4 e-tron is also closing the gap on its older but limited-by-legacy-platform Audi e-tron sibling (236 units vs. 316 units in July), and will surely soon overtake. Audi will launch a more price-matched replacement for the original e-tron in 2022, the Audi Q6 e-tron, which will be larger and more premium than the Q4 version. Like the Q4, it be a ground-up BEV design, though based on the VW Group’s more upmarket PPE platform (with an 800 volt architecture).

Another notable Norwegian performance in July was the new Hyundai Ioniq 5, which was neck-and-neck with the VW ID.4 in sales volume. On sale for just over 2 months, it has quickly ramped to a volume that will soon put it inside the cumulative top 10.

At its price point the Hyundai has no equal in powertrain technology (800 volt architecture), with a great combination of decent range and incredible charging speed. Demand will not be the bottleneck for this vehicle, but supply may be. It will be interesting to see what volumes Hyundai are willing to manufacture.  Will they start making it at their Nošovice factory in the EU at some point?

Here’s the long view of the most popular BEVs year-to-date:


Outlook

As we know, Norway is fast approaching the end game for fossil fuel vehicles.

Norway’s traditionally popular brands of Toyota, BMW, Volvo and Mercedes must now broaden and accelerate their BEV offerings (or even begin, in the case of Toyota) if they want to survive in the country, because BEVs are fast becoming the only game in town.

Other favourite Norwegian brands, VW, Audi, Tesla and Hyundai have already entered the new reality and won’t wait for the above rivals to catch up.  Recent months have brought the Volkswagen ID.3, the ID.4 (along with Skoda Enyaq and Audi Q4 siblings), and the Hyundai Ioniq 5. Soon the VW Group’s Cupra Born will arrive (“this autumn”), as will other vehicles at mid-price points.

The reincarnated MG motor brand is seeing its great value MG ZS EV approaching the cumulative YTD top 10 models, having started sales in Norway just over a year ago. MG are a prime example of a new (or rejuvenated) brand quietly capturing market share from laggard incumbents.

BYD has just landed 100 units of the new BYD Tang BEV (with LFP blade battery) in Norway this past weekend. All-new auto industry entrants like Rivian and Nio, amongst many others, also have a chance to take share from slumbering giants, and won’t hesitate.

Within a few of months, Tesla will start delivering their popular Model Y into Europe, with the Norwegian market surely a priority.

As the spectrum of BEV models (and price points) continues to broaden in Norway, the BEV share of the auto market will continue to inexorably climb towards 100%. Whenever the Tesla Model Y arrives in volume (perhaps as soon as September?) we can expect the BEV share of the market will climb above 70% (and combined plugins above 90%).

Certainly I’m expecting December (at the latest) to see plugin share above 90%, perhaps around 95%. What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

 

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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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