Norway has long been a global leader in the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), but even this summer, the country made a breathtaking leap. Almost two-thirds of newly bought and registered automobiles that Norwegians purchased in July were zero-emission cars, according to the country's Road Traffic Information Council.
Leading the pack in raw numbers was the Ford Mustang Mach-E (shown below), followed by the Skoda Enyaq, Toyota’s RAV4 (which sells a plug-in hybrid model in Norway) and the Volkswagen ID.4. Tesla’s Model 3 has been the best-selling car in Norway in 2021, to the point that it sold out in June, during which it boasted a 15 percent market share. And all this has been underway despite disruptions in global supply chains and the shortage of microchips.
All told, about three in four Norwegians are going all-electric when choosing their next vehicle.
July numbers bode well for the country’s goal to sell only EVs by 2025.
How is Norway shifting further away from gasoline- and diesel-fueled cars? The short answer is that the country’s policies are driving much of this change: Taxes are far higher on cars powered by fossil fuels. The system is not perfect, as critics point out that cars bought for corporate fleets benefit from a loophole that allows for lower taxes on corporate buyers of automobiles than for consumers.
Nevertheless, the fact that 64 percent of new car buyers in Norway chose EVs last month is still impressive. Some may dismiss the statistics, pointing out that the country is home to only 5.3 million people and therefore cannot serve as a harbinger of what’s to come in other nations. But writing for Electrek, Fred Lambert disagrees. “Norway made a needed market correction by taxing gas-powered cars to truly represent their costs,” Lambert wrote this week. “With this market correction, electric vehicles are prevailing as the best solution as more EV options are hitting the market.”
In any event, what was once a trend has become reality. All-electric vehicle sales in Norway surpassed those of fossil fuel-powered cars last year, with 54 percent of all new cars in 2020 being battery-powered. Even the country’s tourism sector is touting Norway’s success on this front, reminding visitors that it’s relatively easy to rent EVs, and that charging is easy thanks to 16,000 charging stations installed across the country, including 3,300 fast chargers.
Image credit: Hendrik Morkel/Unsplash
Leon Kaye has written for 3p since 2010 and become executive editor in 2018. His previous work includes writing for the Guardian as well as other online and print publications. In addition, he's worked in sales executive roles within technology and financial research companies, as well as for a public relations firm, for which he consulted with one of the globe’s leading sustainability initiatives. Currently living in Central California, he’s traveled to 70-plus countries and has lived and worked in South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and Uruguay.
Leon’s an alum of Fresno State, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the University of Southern California's Marshall Business School. He enjoys traveling abroad as well as exploring California’s Central Coast and the Sierra Nevadas.