Photo credit: Audi Sport Club Italia Facebook page
Electric car sales in Norway now account for over half of car purchases, the first country in the world to reach the benchmark.
Seeking to become the first nation to end the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2025, oil-producing Norway exempts fully electric vehicles from taxes imposed on those relying on fossil fuels.
The policy has turned the country’s car market into a laboratory for automakers seeking a path to a future without internal combustion engines, vaulting new brands and models to the top of bestseller lists in recent years.
Volkswagen’s Audi brand topped the 2020 leaderboard with its e-tron sports utility and sportsback vehicles as the most sold new passenger cars in Norway last year, while Tesla’s mid-sized Model 3, the 2019 winner, was relegated to second place.
Electric vehicle sales are set to continue to soar in 2021, industry analysts and car distributors said, as more models are brought to the market.
New car sales in the country last year were 141,412, of which 76,789 were fully electric.
While the electric market share will keep rising, there is uncertainty around how many cars producers will allocate to Norway as European demand is increasing, said Harald Frigstad, chief executive at Norwegian car importer Bertel O. Steen.
The seller of Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz as well as the Kia, Peugeot, Opel, Citroen, DS and Smart brands, predicted around 70% of its sales would be of fully electric models in 2021. (Additional reports from Reuters)