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Norway Over 90% Plugin EV Share In November — Legacy ICE At Record Low

Norway, the world’s leading market in the electric vehicle transition, saw plugins take 91.2% share in November, up from 79.9% a year ago. Non-hybridized combustion vehicles saw a record low of under 5.1% share in November, with Petrol at just 2.3% share. The overall auto market saw 15,274 new registrations, up 24% over pre-pandemic seasonal norms, suggesting that folks are actively defecting from combustion vehicles to electrics at higher rates than the background replacement rate of the past. Prioritizing the Norwegian market, Tesla took the top 2 spots in November.

November’s combined plugin share of 91.2% comprised full battery electrics (BEVs) at 73.8% share, with plugin hybrids (PHEVs) at 17.4% share. This continues the inevitable move towards pure electrics, which — by themselves — should reach 90% by the end of 2022, if new models can fill the remaining underserved segments of the market.

2021’s cumulative plugin share now stands at 85.7%, with 64.2% BEVs. The most recent trailing 3 months have seen plugins take a combined 90.8% share, with BEVs alone taking 74.3% share, a remarkable tally (swayed by September’s 77.5% share). BEV’s trailing 3-month share a year ago was “just” 59.6%. The trend points to BEVs alone heading for 90% monthly share in December 2022.

Petrol share was down to a record low of 2.3% share, and even with the support of diesel, combined combustion share was barely above 5%, (5.05%), a new record low. Plugless hybrids did little better, at 3.8% share, and under half their monthly volume of a year ago:

Most Popular BEVs

Tesla Model Y and Model 3 saw decent volume (totalling almost 1800), even before the end-of-quarter, thanks to improved shipping (from Shanghai), and thanks to Norway being a priority market — neighbouring Sweden was sent only around 300 Teslas in November.

The Volkswagen ID.4 is doing well in Norway, with steady monthly volumes mostly in the 700 to 900 range recently, taking the number #3 spot:

The Porsche Taycan had a relatively huge month, perhaps thanks to a new body shape variant (that now makes three) and a new powertrain variant (the GTS) coming available, but more likely just to overall volume flowing in (and likely temporarily diverting from other regions). How many times has Porsche ever been inside a top 10 sales list?

Outside the top 20, Kia EV6 is steadily growing (109 units in November), but not yet delivering in enough volume to be visible in the monthly ranks.

The new MG Marvel R saw the first month of decent volume deliveries, with 101 units, putting it just outside the top 20. The MG ZS EV, on the other hand, saw a low-ebb of supply in November, with just 36 units delivered (down from as high as 338 in August). The two siblings aren’t competing, since they are in quite distinct price and size segments, and both are good value.

BMW iX SUV joined the market for first time in November, though outside the top 20, with 97 registrations. Likewise the Nio ES8 SUV saw its first month of volume customer deliveries, with 92 registrations.

The BYD Tang SUV has seen its second solid month of volume sales, with a healthy 398 units in November. As a good value offering in its segment, the Tang will continue to do well so long as supply volume can keep up. It has now reached #14 on the trailing 3-month chart and should squeeze inside the top 10 in the coming few months:

Shout out to the Hyundai Ioniq 5 which is selling an average of around 550 units per month recently, and has aptly taken the #5 spot over the trailing 3 months.

What more BEV models does Norway need to make it to 100%?  I’d like to see more affordable, simple, BEVs coming in to encourage folks who normally buy used cars to consider the improved overall economics of BEVs, and ditch their ICE.

I’d also like to see Rivian offer their R1T pickup truck in Norway, since farmers and other working folks who need this kind of vehicle are still underserved in the BEV market. The good news is that Rivian said to Bilbransje24 back in August that they plan to come to Norway in 2022 (though that timing could slip).

One might hope the same could be said for the Ford F-150 Lightning, due to go on sale in the US in the spring of 2022, but there’s no plans yet from Ford to bring it to Norway.

Ford F-150 Lightning. Image Courtesy: Ford

Geely (part owner of Volvo and Polestar) may introduce an electric pickup truck in 2022; if so they will surely look to bring it to Norway at an early opportunity, and it will certainly be snapped up, especially if it’s the first to market.

Outlook

2021 has been the year when the inevitable electric vehicle transition has finally come to fruition in Norway. Apart from a possible slight seasonal dip in the coming January or February, plugins will remain firmly above 90% from now on, and BEVs alone are on track to reach 90% share by the end of 2022.

The last plugless vehicle will probably be sold either in 2022 or 2023, well ahead of Norway’s 2025 informal target. As noted above, the precise timing will depend on compelling plugins being made available in all the remaining niche segments they haven’t yet reached.

December has historically been the peak month of the year for plugin share, and 2021 will stay on trend. We should see a new record high of 94% to 96% plugin share in December.

Norway, following the global auto market trend, saw its overall auto sales (of all powertrains) peak in 2017 and — even prior to the pandemic — each year since has seen a notable decline.

Well, that was the case, until this year. Now that a “much better option” (and overall more affordable option) is available, Norway’s auto sales volumes are climbing again. Year-to-date, sales volumes are up by 28.9% over 2020, and up 18.8% from 2018 levels.

This may seem counterintuitive, and will be a discrete phase not lasting forever, but the reason is that folks who only bought new cars at modest intervals in the past are now accelerating the retirement (or reselling) of their old ICE vehicles and replacing them with much better, more reliable, more economical, and cleaner, plugin vehicles.

Once the Norwegian fleet is almost entirely electric, due to the greater reliability (and potentially greater longevity) of BEVs, the volume of auto sales will fall back, likely to a steady-state level slightly below that seen during the ICE-age.

 
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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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