Sales of electrified vehicles rose above half of new registrations in Norway in 2017, a record aided by generous subsidies that extended the country’s lead in shifting from fossil-fuel engines, data from the Norwegian Road Federation (OFV) showed on Wednesday.
All-electric cars, fuel-cell cars, plug-in hybrids and hybrids, accounted for 52 percent of all new car sales last year in Norway against 40 percent in 2016.
A total of 158, 650 new passenger cars were registered in 2017 and out of these 33,080, or 20.9 percent, were zero-emission cars — mainly all-electric cars and a few fuel-cell vehicles, the OFV said.
Meanwhile, a total of 49,736 plug-in hybrids and hybrid cars were registered, which accounted for 31.3 percent of the total new car sales, according to the OFV data.
“No one else is close” in terms of a national share of electric cars, OFV chief Oeyvind Solberg Thorsen said. “For the first time we have a fossil-fuel market share below 50 percent.”
“There is every reason to believe that the sale of zero-emission cars will continue to increase in 2018 as more models, which have a longer range, will fit into the family segment and will be at a price level suitable for more. If the growth in sales of new zero-emission cars becomes the same as we think, that means that the proportion of new registered zero-emission cars in 2018 will amount to an estimated 25 percent of the total sales of new passenger cars,” Thorsen said.
“Then Norway will still be in the top of the world in terms of sales of zero-emission cars in relation to total car sales,” he added.
Norway, the biggest producer of oil in Western Europe, has set itself the ambitious goal of selling only new zero-emission cars starting from 2025.
Norway exempts new electric cars from almost all taxes and grants perks that can be worth thousands of dollars a year in terms of free or subsidized parking, re-charging and use of toll roads, ferries and tunnels.