Western Europe’s largest oil and gas producer has just set a historic record in its electric vehicles (EVs) market.
For the first time ever, EV sales in Norway in March outstripped sales of gasoline and diesel cars combined, confirming the Nordic country’s undisputed global leadership in EV market share and setting it on the road to achieve its national goal to have all cars sold by 2025 be zero emission, either electric or hydrogen.
The nearly 60-percent record EV market share in March was driven by two key factors—Norway’s consistent government policies in incentivizing purchases of zero-emission cars and a record number of Tesla Model 3 deliveries last month.
In March, for the first time in history, more than half of the passenger car sales in Norway were fully electric vehicles—battery electric vehicles (BEV), the Norwegian EV Association said this week.
According to statistics from the Norwegian Road Federation (OFV), the BEV market share stood at 58.4 percent in March, exceeding 50 percent for the first time ever. The market share of fully electric vehicles in the first quarter of 2019 was also the highest on record—at 48.4 percent.
Much of the historic market share was due to an astonishing 5,315 Model 3 deliveries last month, the Norwegian EV Association said.
“Tesla set a new benchmark for competing car manufacturers with an astonishing 5315 Model 3 units registered during March, beating the previous strong number recorded by Nissan LEAF last year,” the association’s release noted.
Norway may have a population of just 5.3 million people, but it is an important market for all EV makers, especially for Tesla. This importance is also recognized by Elon Musk who retweeted with heart emoticons Norway’s sales numbers for March.
“Norway has every reason to be proud of breaking more BEV records. The BEV policy is working so well that the larger part of consumers opt for a BEV when buying a new car,” said the Norwegian EV Association’s Secretary General Christina Bu.
“Norway shows the whole world that fully electric cars can replace petrol and diesel cars and become an important contribution to combat CO2 emissions, as well as relieving local air from other harmful gases caused by burning fossil fuels,” Bu noted. Related: Supermajor Shell Looks To Revitalize The Rust Belt
The association estimates that the BEV market share in Norway will be around 50 percent for the full 2019.
“We are now aiming for 1.2 million BEVs on Norwegian roads by 2025, which is a little more than five times today’s number,” Bu said.
As at the end of 2018, Norway’s BEV fleet had a 30-percent market share, while the share of plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) held a market share of 19 percent, according to data from the Norwegian Public Roads Administration. The number of BEVs on the roads was just above 200,000, with PHEVs at just over 96,000.
Thanks to Norway’s many tax incentives and no-tolls for EVs, the market share of EVs jumped from just 1 percent in 2011 to 31 percent last year, statistics from the Norwegian EV Association shows.
According to the latest estimates of the International Energy Agency (IEA), Norway remained the world’s most advanced market for electric car sales in 2017, with over 39 percent share of new sales, followed by Iceland at a distant second with 11.7 percent and Sweden with 6.3 percent.
In China, the largest market in terms of volumes, the share of EVs was 2.2 percent in 2017, the IEA says.
In January 2019, there were nearly 5 million passenger EVs on the road globally, Angus McCrone, Chief Editor at BloombergNEF (BNEF), wrote in an article earlier this year.
BNEF forecasts that another 2.6 million EVs will be sold worldwide this year, a 40-percent annual increase, which would be down from the 70-percent growth rate last year, but still quite impressive.
China will continue to be the leader in terms of volumes sold, with some 1.5 million of EV sales this year, accounting for around 57 percent of the global market, McCrone said, noting that growth in Europe should be strong in the Nordic countries and Germany.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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