Norway, the leading country in electric transport adoption, saw plugin electric vehicle share of 84.2% in April, up from 80.1% year-on-year. April is typically a yearly low point for plugins, so this is a decent result. Overall auto volumes were down some 26% year-on-year, at 9,725 units. Fleet share of plugins now stands at 23%.
April’s combined plugin share of 84.2% comprised 74.1% full battery electrics (BEVs) and 10.1% plugin hybrids (PHEVs), which continues a move towards BEVs over the past 18 months. BEVs are strongly up from 54.9% share YoY, though PHEVs are down, from 25.2% share.
In volume terms, BEVs were flat YoY, whereas PHEVs were down by over 70% (3,316 down to 982). Plugless volumes combined were down by about 40% YoY, with petrol seeing the smallest volume drop, and diesel the biggest.
The relative year-on-year decline in share of everything-except-BEVs can be see clearly in the long term chart:
Best Selling BEVs
Tesla was at its scheduled low ebb of deliveries in April, giving the Volvo XC40, the Skoda Enyaq, and Volkswagen ID.4, the month’s top three spots.
Shout out to the Volvo XC40 for taking its first top spot, with its highest ever monthly volumes in Norway. This is thanks to an update to the front wheel drive version, which is both cheaper yet comes with a slightly larger battery, and is more efficient, with thus longer range.
Quick mention also to the XPeng G3 for just making it onto the monthly top 20 list for the first time, with personal best volumes.
Stepping back to the normalized rankings over the past three months, we can see that Tesla’s Model Y and Model 3 are still very dominant:
Fleet Transition Update
Despite Q1 always adding an underweighted portion of the year’s BEV sales, the plugin share of the Norwegian fleet grew by around 1% in the first quarter of 2022. By the end of March (latest confirmed data) plugin share of fleet stood at 23.1% (16.9% BEV), from 18.1% (12.7% BEV) at this point 12 months ago. The total volume of Norway’s passenger fleet is 2.85 million vehicles.
Thus the past 12 months — during which 87.7% of new sales were plugins — saw their share of the fleet grow by 5%. The picture is slightly complicated by Norway’s import of many lightly used BEVs from elsewhere in Europe, which add to the fleet share of plugins, but don’t appear in the official monthly new sales figures we base our market share on (to avoid double counting with the original market of sale, often Sweden or Germany). Typically these used-imports add another 10% or so to Norway’s annual plugin fleet growth.
Depending on overall volume availability, 2022 as a whole is on track to see close to 6% growth in plugin share of the fleet. The annual replacement rate could potentially grow to 7% (or higher) if more and more folks bring forward the scrapping (or export) of their old combustion vehicles for BEVs, in advance of their traditional retirement age (typically averaging 17 to 18 years in Norway). An incentivised clunkers-trade-in program could help with this.
Diesels, petrols and even plugless hybrids are all now declining on Norway’s roads, as essentially few-to-no new vehicles with these powertrains are being added, and older ones continue to retire. Even the PHEV contingent has now almost peaked, at around 6.25% of the overall fleet (and just under 180,000 units).
If we assume an annual transition to plugins (and soon BEVs only) of 6%, over 70% of the fleet will be plugin by 2030. However, I expect it will accelerate to be closer to 7% annual turnover, as noted above. If that’s the case it will be around 80% plugins by 2030, almost all of them full BEVs. Since older cars typically get driven less than new ones, the fuel demand for this aging fleet of combustion-only vehicles is declining at a faster rate than the raw fleet composition numbers.
In 2030, since most of those remaining 20% combustion cars will be at least 10 years old, and each driven much less than the median vehicle, I expect Norway’s passenger vehicle road fuel demand to be around 10% of its pre-transition levels.
Interestingly, even though 2,338 new PHEVs were registered on Norway’s roads in Q1 2022, and the few oldest examples on the road are just approaching 10 years of age (and not just yet ready for scrap), Norway’s overall PHEVs fleet only gained 1,077 units.
This tells us that around 1250 used PHEVs left Norway’s fleet (i.e. were exported) to continue life elsewhere. It also suggests that Norwegian folks who got their first electric fix with PHEVs are now ready to graduate on to full BEVs, and that these still-useful PHEVs can play a gateway-drug role in nearby markets that are at an earlier point on the EV transition curve.
Leading brand Tesla (averaging over 20% of Norway’s BEV sales) saw 24 days of production shutdowns in Shanghai between mid March and mid April, disrupting output volume that would otherwise have be sent to Europe.
Europe doesn’t see significant Tesla deliveries in the first month of a quarter anyway, so April’s figures are largely unaffected. May’s Europe Tesla volumes will certainly be impacted. June deliveries should be back up to normal.
More broadly, BEVs are obviously well on the way to completing their take over in Norway. As we’ve said many times, more affordable compact BEVs need to arrive on the European market, and the range of models needs to diversify to fill in some of the remaining niches that are still the exclusive preserve of combustion powertrains at the moment.
Once those things happen, along with DC charging infrastructure becoming more reliable in remote Norwegian areas, BEVs will move ever closer to 100% market share.
What are your thoughts on Norway’s EV transition? Please join the discussion in the comments below.
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