In a groundbreaking achievement, Norway has set a new record with electric vehicles dominating almost four out of every five new car registrations in the country last year, according to data released on Monday. Spearheaded by Tesla, which claimed a 12.2% market share, Norway sold 138,265 new electric cars in 2023, constituting an impressive 79.3% of total passenger car sales, surpassing the previous record set in 2021.
Norway’s electric vehicle revolution outshines the European Union, where electric cars comprised only 8.6% of new car registrations in the first nine months of 2022. The exceptional achievement in Norway is exemplified by December sales, where electric cars claimed a staggering 82.8% of the market share, driven by a rush to purchase before a tax change took effect in 2023.
The commitment to environmental sustainability is evident in Norway’s ambitious goal for all new cars to be “zero emission” by 2025, encompassing electric and hydrogen vehicles. Christina Bu, Secretary General of the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association, emphasized the significance of the populace choosing fully electric cars, stating, “Eight out of 10 people choosing fully electric instead of combustion engines is a considerable step towards Norway reaching its climate goal of 100% BEV [battery electric vehicle] sales in 2025.” Bu’s message to the world underscores the urgency of addressing the climate crisis and eliminating unnecessary pollution from internal combustion engines.
To incentivize electric vehicle adoption, Norway has historically provided tax-free benefits and reduced road tolls and parking fees for EVs. However, with the growing popularity of electric cars and the subsequent impact on state revenue, authorities have begun to scale back some of these incentives. As of January 1, a 25% sales tax exemption on new electric vehicle purchases now applies only to the first 500,000 Norwegian kroner (approximately $50,500) of the vehicle’s price.
Approximately one in five cars on Norwegian roads are currently electric, showcasing the country’s substantial penetration of electric vehicles. Norway’s journey towards widespread electric vehicle adoption serves as a model for other nations, highlighting the transformative impact of well-crafted incentives and environmental goals on shaping consumer choices and the automotive landscape.