Norway is taking the all-electric route. In 2020, the country became the first in the world where electric cars accounted for more than half of new registrations, according to figures released on Tuesday.
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic which has delayed the launch of new models, the electric has arrogated a market share of 54.3% last year in the Nordic country, against 42.4% a year earlier , according to figures from a specialist Norwegian body, the Road Traffic Information Council (OFV). Unmatched in the world, sales even saw a boost at the end of the year: in December, the electric market share broke a new monthly record, at 66.7%.
Largest hydrocarbon producer
“This is an extremely positive trend,” said Christina Bu, general secretary of the Norwegian Association of Electric Vehicles, which promotes “zero emissions”. “We are almost on track to meet the 2025 goals,” she added.
Norway, which is paradoxically the largest producer of hydrocarbons in Western Europe, displays the ambition that all its new cars are “zero emissions” – electric and hydrogen – from that year. With several steps ahead of other European countries, however ambitious, such as the United Kingdom, which has just brought forward to 2030 the date of ban on sales of gasoline and diesel cars. France should reach this milestone in 2040.
High expectations for the coming year
To achieve its goal, the Nordic country is implementing an extremely advantageous fiscal policy even though it has started to cut back some of the privileges granted to electric cars, such as free urban tolls or the possibility of using the corridors of collective transport.
Unlike heavily taxed diesel or gasoline cars, clean cars are virtually free of any tax, which makes them more competitive to purchase. It’s an electric sedan, which would normally have been out of the reach of most stock exchanges, that topped Norway’s sales rankings last year – Audi’s e-tron, with a starting cost of around 47,000 euros – ahead of three other electric models, the Tesla Model 3, the Volkswagen ID.3 and the Nissan Leaf.
Despite this unparalleled performance, the Norwegian Association of Electric Vehicles says it remains hungry, expecting to see electric capture nearly 60% of the market last year. “We would have done it if it had not been for the coronavirus,” said Christina Bu. “But it delayed several launches.” For the current year, the association says it expects a market share of 65%.