Norway has become the first country in the world where sales of fully electric cars outnumbered those powered by petrol, diesel and hybrid.
The Scandinavian country recorded a total of 141,412 new car sales in 2020, with electric vehicles (EVs) accounting for 76,789 (or 54.3 per cent) of those sales. Add in hybrid vehicle sales, and electrified vehicles accounted for 83 per cent of all car sales in 2020.
The data represents a significant increase over 2019, where EVs accounted for 42 per cent of sales. Just 10 years ago, EVs represented just one per cent of the market in Norway.
Norway’s strategy to fast-track the uptake of electric vehicles has been simple: the small nation abolishing import tariffs and sales taxes on EVs, as well as offering cheaper road tolls and registration fees. Electric vehicles are also able to use dedicated bus lanes.
Charging infrastructure is extensive too, with around 10,000 public charging stations, according to the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association.
Figures released by the Norwegian Road Federation (OFV) show the Audi E-Tron as the biggest selling car in Norway with sales of 9227 vehicles, toppling the previous best-seller, the Tesla Model 3 which enjoyed sales of 7770. Volkswagen’s ID.3 was the third best-selling car in 2020 with sales of 7754.
Norway is targeting a total ban on sales of petrol- and diesel-powered cars by 2025, which would make it the first country in the world to do so.
“We’re definitely on track to reach the 2025 target,” said Øyvind Thorsen, OFV’s CEO.
Sales of electric vehicles are expected to continue their climb this year, according to the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association.
“Our preliminary forecast is for electric cars to surpass 65 per cent of the market in 2021,” said Christina Bu who heads the Norwegian EV Association. “If we manage that, the goal of selling only zero-emission cars in 2025 will be within reach.”
Just 10 years ago, diesel-powered cars accounted for 75.7 per cent of the Norwegian new car market, falling to just 8.6 per cent in 2020.