Welcome to the number one country in EV ownership.
If there’s a single country in this world that’s wholeheartedly embraced electric vehicles then it’s Norway. According to Reuters, sales of electric and hybrid vehicles rose to more than half of all new vehicle registrations in Norway in 2017. More precisely, 52 percent of those new vehicles did not have diesel or pure gasoline engines. That percentage is actually up compared to 2016, where 40 percent of new vehicles were EVs or hybrids.
Reuters obtained its figured from the independent Norwegian Road Federation, so it’s fair to say these numbers are reliable. “No one else is close” in terms of a national share of electric cars, OFV chief Oeyvind Solberg Thorsen said. “For the first time we have a fossil-fuel market share below 50 percent.” How did this happen? The Norwegian government offers very generous tax incentives for people to go electric. For example, EV buyers are exempt from almost all taxes. In addition, owners are granted certain perks, such as free or subsidized parking, re-charging and use of toll roads, ferries and tunnels, which can be worth thousands of dollars per year.
Another interesting thing about Norway is that it generates almost all of its electricity from hydropower. Also last year, the International Energy Agency (IEA) announced Norway as being far ahead in electric vehicle sales than other major countries, such as China, Sweden, the Netherlands, France and Britain. The IEA, however, does not include hybrid cars with a small electric motor that can’t be plugged in into its figures, making Norway’s EV market even more impressive. That said, Norwegian electric car sales made up 39 percent of its auto market, far ahead of its closest competitor, the Netherlands, with 6.4 percent.