Norway At New Record High 92% Plugin EV Share In March

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Norway, the leading nation for EV adoption, saw plugin autos take a market share of 91.94% in March, with 86.1% being full battery electrics. Overall auto market volume was 16,238 units, some 6% up year-on-year. Tesla’s Model Y took the top spot in March.

March’s combined plugin result of 91.9% overwhelmingly comprised full battery electrics (BEVs) at a new record of 86.1%, with plugin hybrids (PHEVs) contributing just 5.8%. All other powertrains were less than half of that, with petrol-only combustion taking 2.8%.

Norway’s trailing 3 month plugin share now stands at 90.1%, from 82% YoY. BEVs stand at 82.9% from 52.8% YoY, a remarkable sprint towards the finishing line for full electrics.

Non-plugin powertrains combined, took just 8.1% of the market in March, down from 15.1% YoY.

Norway’s Favourite BEVs

March saw Tesla make its usual end-of-quarter delivery push, putting the Tesla siblings, Model Y and Model 3 at the top of the rankings. The Volkswagen ID.4 and Audi Q4 e-tron took the #3 and #4 spots.

The ID.4 saw a volume push in March, around twice its recent monthly averages.

There’s no great surprises in the top 20 here since the Norwegian market is maturing, without many erratic moves. Just outside the top 20, the Skoda Enyaq, at 173 units, was well down from recent averages of 520 per month, perhaps due a supply chain issue, or perhaps because of regional delivery priorities heading elsewhere in March.

Further down the rankings, the BMW i4 climbed, seeing a record volume of 131 units, from a previous max of 24 monthly units. Let’s hope BMW can sustain these higher volumes.

Likewise, the Mercedes EQB started to see significant volume in March (111 units), compared to just handfuls previously. Its larger sibling, the Mercedes EQS also saw its highest volumes, at 78 units, way up from recent performance.

Finally, the Renault Megane registered its first ever units (just 5), likely for demonstration purposes.

A look at the trailing 3 month performance gives a more even view of Norway’s auto market. Here, Tesla’s two vehicles also lead, with the Model Y well out in front. Below this, the spread of performance is more even.

In terms of manufacturing group share over the past 3 months, VW Group leads, with 6,336 units, ahead of Tesla at 5,060 units. Hyundai Group came in 3rd with 3,900 units. These three took combined over 57% of the BEV market, with other manufacturers trailing well behind.

Fleet Update

In terms of Norway’s fleet composition, we are still waiting on 2022 Q1’s official data. However, my analysis is that BEVs now make up right around 17.1% of Norway’s fleet, and their fleet share is growing by 1.25% per quarter. Meanwhile PHEV share of fleet is slightly under 6.5% (and growing 0.25% per quarter).

As of now, plugin share thus comprises 23.5% of Norway’s fleet. Share of the fleet is currently growing by almost 6% per year (equating to an average age of vehicle retirement of around 17 years), though this may accelerate as new sales move from 90% to 100%, and more folks bring forward the retirement (or shipping abroad) of their older combustion vehicle, over-and-above normal retirement rates, to get into a plugin more quickly.

On the current trendline, by mid 2026 at the latest, half of Norway’s fleet will be plugins (mostly BEVs). It could potentially come towards the end of 2025.

By 2030 the fleet composition will be over 75% plugin (perhaps as high as 85%), and remaining combustion-only vehicles will be 10+ years old and very rarely driven. The emissions decline will thus occur faster than the gross fleet figures, and I would estimate that by 2030 road fuel demand will be under 10% of pre-transition quantities, and dwindling.

Outlook

I mentioned yesterday in the Sweden report that a supply crunch and cost inflation may affect BEV availability (as well as other autos) in Europe in the coming months. However, Norway is obviously a relatively low-volume auto market, with relatively wealthy buyers of new cars, able to bear possible price increases. Norway’s BEV volumes should thus not see significant drops.

With road-fuel prices increasing noticeably, corporate fleets who are now the remaining buyers of most of the new plugless autos, may look again at their spending habits.

With current uncertainties, predicting the plugin progress over the coming months is foolhardy. However, given Norway’s small size and relative wealth noted above, I think BEVs will remain above 80% share in the months ahead, and PEVs around 90%. It’s possible BEVs alone will take 90% in December.

What are your thoughts on Norway’s transition to electric transport? Please join in the conversation in the comments section below.


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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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