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Tesla Model Y Bestseller In Norway — Plugin EV Share Hits Record High 88%

Norway, the undisputed leader in electric vehicle adoption, saw a new record high plugin share of 87.7% in August 2021, up inexorably from 70.2% in August 2020. Full electrics alone took 72% of the market, meanwhile Diesels fell to a record low 3.2%. The overall auto market was up some 23% over seasonal norms, at 13311 units. Norway’s bestselling vehicle in August was a new arrival, the Tesla Model Y.

August’s record 87.7% combined plugin result consisted of a new high of 71.9% full battery electrics (BEVs), and 15.8% plugin hybrids (PHEVs). This is a significant shift towards full electrics compared to recent months. The 2021 cumulative plugin share now stands at 83.6%, with 60% being BEVs. By this point in 2020 the cumulative share was 68.7%, with 49.0% being BEVs.

All other powertrains are tailing off to zero, with even plugless hybrids falling to 4.5% share, their lowest in recent years. Old-school non-electrified combustion powertrains combined fell to under 7.7% share. Of that, diesel saw a record low of just under 3.2%, with petrol only marginally better off, at just under 4.6%.

The August BEV share of 71.9% compares to 52.8% in August 2020, demonstrating that the march towards full electrification is not letting up as the finish line approaches.

Note that plugins have now been near or above 80% share for the past 12 months. With all non-plugins (the yellow, red and blue areas in the above graph) now inexorably trending towards zero, the market pattern appears to be that even PHEVs are now relegated to playing the role of filling in the gaps during those months when BEV shipments are at a low ebb.

Best Selling BEVs

August’s best selling BEV was the long anticipated, and newly arriving, Tesla Model Y, shipping in from Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory.

All the other recently popular BEV models also continued to sell well, with the Ford Mustang Mach E, Volkswagen ID.4, Tesla Model 3 and VW ID.3 filling out the top 5 spots. Relative newcomers, the Hyundai Ioniq 5, and Audi Q4 e-tron, also had decent volumes in August:

The Skoda Enyaq was slightly down in volume over recent months, likely just a consequence of the shuffling of limited production volumes around different European markets. Likewise with the Volvo XC40.

The Volkswagen Group still had a strong position overall, with 4 models in the top 10. The MEB platform SUVs (ID.4, Enyaq and Q4 e-tron) combined to 1741 units in August, even with the Enyaq having an off month.

The 2021 year-to-date ranking is relatively unchanged over last month’s. There were a few minor movements in the mid table (notably the VW ID.3 moving up 2 spots to #13 thanks to a strong August) and the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Tesla Model Y joining the list for the first time.

The appearance of the Hyundai and Tesla in turn pushed the Peugeot e-208 and Mazda MX-30 to just outside of the top 20 ranks. Expect the Audi Q4 e-tron to join the cumulative top 20 next month, displacing the Kia Soul.

Tesla Model Y / Image: Tesla

Outlook

As I noted above, BEVs are now pretty much the only game in town in Norway, with PHEVs mostly just filling in the gaps during BEVs’ slow delivery months. To get to the finish line of 95% BEV and above, a wider array of models will be useful, including pickups and especially competent models at more affordable price points in the 100,000 to 200,00 NOK range (€10,000 to €20,000).

This task may fall to the likes of BYD, which has recently started bringing in small numbers of the Tang SUV to Norway, and will hopefully bring in the affordable Dolphin compact hatchback to Europe at some point.

The Dolphin sells from around €12,500 in China. There are many such models and manufacturers in the China market, offering affordable compact BEVs at price points much lower than the European manufacturers are offering. With a 50 kWh LFP battery now costing under $4000 (~€3400), there’s no reason why decent entry BEVs can’t be offered for under €15,000 in Europe already, as they are in China.

The end-of-quarter month of September is typically a busy time for EVs in Europe, and we should see Norway’s plugin share climb very close to (or above) 90% for the first time. If not in September then certainly in December (remembering that December 2020 saw 87.1% share already).

When will we see 95% plugin share breached in Norway? 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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