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Norway Plug-in Sales Q3-2017 and YTD

Plug-in sales in Norway summed up 43 700 passenger cars and light commercial vehicles this year, until the end of September. This is a 29 % growth over the same period in 2016, when 33 900 units were delivered. Norway is the third largest market for electrically chargeable vehicles, only USA and China have higher plug-in sales. Regarding plug-in share, Norway is the undisputed leader, with 32%; no other country is even close to this result. In 2016, the share was 24 %.

September brought a strong increase in sales, with 6 650 registrations, a new all-time record. Quarter 3 was above expectations in terms of growth (+ 41 %) which could mean an even stronger Q4. We believe the 2017 total light vehicle market will reach a record 62.000 units.

first Norway Plug-in Sales Q3-2017 and YTD image

No longer just BEVs

Once known for its preference for BEVs over PHEVs, the introduction of higher tax savings on PHEVs, changed significantly the mix in 2015 and 2016, with plug-in hybrids winning share and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV even winning the Best Seller status last year.

This year the picture isn't much different, with sales of pure EVs winning just 1% share (56 %) over PHEVs (44%). In Q4, expect the BEV share to grow a little more, as popular EV models, like the VW e-Golf, top the charts.

2018 will see a slow recovery from BEVs, and we expect the EV / PHEV split to be around 70 / 30  sometime in 2019. That year, new models will favor all-electric vehicles volume, like the long awaited Tesla Model 3, likely to make it to Europe in Q4 2018 and deliver in big volumes during the following year, while German OEMs plan to launch their dedicated BEVs in 2019.

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third Norway Plug-in Sales Q3-2017 and YTD image

Plug-in Share is 2nd to None

A case study for what lies ahead, Norway was always in a pioneering position, having been the first market to reach 1% PEV share, back in 2011, in 2013 it was the first to reach 5% share, and on the following year it broke the two digits mark, when the market with the second highest share (Netherlands) was still trying to hit 4%.

Has the tipping point been reached in Norway? Going by the rules for diffusion of innovation (Rogers), mass market adoption starts when the first 15 - 18% of a given sector have bought the idea. By that measure, at 32% share, plug-ins in Norway are well into the mainstream market, and keeping the generous tax incentives during the rest of the decade, 2020 could see it surpass 75% PEV share, point where incentives could start to be removed.

There is a proposal in Norway to introduce a taxation on heavy BEVs in 2018, dubbed a "Tesla tax". As an example, the base Model S could obtain additional tax by 750 €, whereas the heaviest Model X would receive about 7500 € tax. This could make a slight increase in sales short-term, but will likely not change the market in any radical direction. This tax will of course also affect other models, like the upcoming JLR I-pace and the Audi e-Tron Quattro.


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