As of January 1, 2023, if people in Norway want to buy a Hyundai, they will have a choice of several models, all of them battery-electrics. According to a company press release, Hyundai will sell only fully electric zero emission cars in the Norwegian market from that date forward.
After eight years of continuous growth, Hyundai has established itself as one of the biggest automotive brands in the Norwegian market, the company says. After the introduction of the ground-breaking Ioniq lineup in 2016, its sales trajectory has headed upward, and since then Norwegians have flocked to dealers to purchase a new battery-electric Hyundai.
“We have great faith in our model portfolio and now that we have launched the all new Ioniq 6, the time has come to sell only all electric cars in the Norwegian market. Ioniq 5 and Kona Electric cars have long since taken positions as some of the most popular cars in the market and we are confident that our pure electric cars will bring us continued success into the future,” said Thomas Rosvold, managing director at Hyundai Motor Norway.
As a global leader in electrification, the Norwegian market has also proven to be a spearhead for Hyundai’s electric car development. The Ioniq Electric quickly became one of the market’s most popular electric cars and continued its high sales right up until the last car was delivered just before Christmas this year.
When the Kona Electric was launched in 2018, it marked a small revolution in the electric car market with long range, an accessible price, and a crossover form factor that was a hit with Norwegian and European customers alike. In Norway, this resulted in 8,000 pre-orders and sales that in recent years have meant the Kona Electric has consistently remained among the most popular cars in the country.
Since then, the Ioniq 5 has arrived, also with the features, practicality, and technology that customers demand. Long range, ultra-fast charging, plenty of space and a practical CUV design are all important criteria for customers, and as one of the most advanced electric cars on the market, Ioniq 5 is Norway’s fifth bestselling car so far this year.
In 2020, Hyundai decided to sell only plug-in hybrid and electric cars in Norway, thanks to exciting plug-in hybrid models such as the Tucson plug-in hybrid and Santa Fe plug-in hybrid. However, as it enters 2023, the company is setting a new milestone in the Norwegian market. At the end of 2022, Hyundai’s last plug-in hybrids was sold, and from 1 January 2023, Norway will be the first market where the brand sells only pure electric cars.
“Recently, we also got to see the first images of the new generation Kona Electric and it is a model that will be both larger, more stylish, and more dynamic than before. Alongside a number of other innovative models coming in the next few years, we are, in other words, primed for an all electric future,” Rosvold said.
Hyundai has already taken electric leadership in the Norwegian market, and according to large and independent market surveys, Hyundai is the OEM that also produces fossil fuel cars that customers most strongly associate with electric cars. It was only surpassed by two brands who produce EVs only.
Hyundai has a strong EV heritage to build on and has already delivered electric cars with market leading features, including ground-breaking efficiency, long range, and innovations such as 800 volt ultra-fast charging, vehicle-to-load (V2L) technology, and maximized roominess thanks to the dedicated Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) electric car architecture.
In 2022, Hyundai Motor Norway will have an electric car share of 93%, while electric cars have consistently accounted for over 90% of Hyundai’s sales in Norway in recent years. From 2020 to 2022, the brand has delivered 25,000 passenger cars in Norway, of which 92% are fully electric. This has given Hyundai an established position as one of Norway’s most popular car brands, not only for EVs but for all drivetrains.
Hyundai Beats Volkswagen To The Punch
Last summer, Volkswagen announced that it would sell only battery-electric sales in Norway beginning in 2024. Ulf Tore Hekneby, the CEO of Harald A. Møller, the importer of Volkswagen vehicles into Norway, said his company will no longer import Volkswagen passenger cars with internal combustion engines after January 1, 2024. That means no hybrids or plug-in hybrids, only battery-electrics, according to a report by Norway Posts. The Nordic country has announced a ban on cars with internal combustion engines beginning at the end of 2025. That means Volkswagen will be two full years ahead of the curve in Norway, which already has some of the most aggressive electric vehicle policies of any country.
Nearby Sweden is also enjoying a surge in plug-in car sales. In December, a record 74.6% of all new cars sold in Sweden had a plug, up from 60.7% year on year. Battery-electrics accounted for a record 51.3% share of the market. In the entire European new car market, more than 17% of new cars sold in December were battery-electrics, while almost 28% have a plug. Clearly the EV revolution is happening on the Continent and getting stronger.
Meanwhile in the US, things are less robust on the EV front but moving in the right direction. At the end of the third quarter, electric car sales hit 6% market penetration and have improved somewhat in the fourth quarter to around 7%. The tipping point for mass uptake of new technologies is generally considered to be around 5%, so the US is making progress.
Norway is clearly way out ahead of the whole rest of the world when it comes to transitioning to electric cars, but it didn’t get there easily. Over the past decade, it has spent lavishly on direct and indirect incentives ranging from direct subsidies to reduced fares for its multitude of ferries, bridges, and tunnels. Now that companies like Hyundai and Volkswagen are saying they will only sell electric cars in Norway, the country is reducing some of those incentives, just as China is doing.
There is great consternation in some circles about California’s plan to prohibit the sale of new passenger vehicles with internal combustion engines by 2035. But now that other states like Oregon, Washington, and Vermont have announced they will also follow the California mandate, that goal doesn’t seem quite so daunting. In fact, by 2035, most young people in America will be asking, “Daddy, what’s an internal combustion engine?” just the way many of us asked, “Daddy, what’s a vacuum tube?” Change is scary before it happens, less so after it occurs.
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