Norway Is Fourth Country To Register 100,000 Plug-in Cars

That bastion of plug-in electrified vehicles – Norway – has outdone itself again in becoming the fourth little nation among comparative giants to register 100,000 units sold.

Through April, the tally has grown to 100,600 new and some technically used all-electric and plug-in hybrid passenger vehicles, plus pure electric utility vans.

This has happened from next to nothing at the beginning of this decade in a country that began supporting PEVs in the 1990s.

While the seeds of electrified vehicle acceptance and adoption germinated long in the Nordic ground, the country is now blossoming with ever increasing outsized fruit.

Some Context

Norway has a population of just 5.1 million yet joins ranks with the U.S., China, and Japan as the only countries so far to register 100,000 PEVs.

The U.S. now had around 450,000 through April, China was at around 300,000 by March, and Japan is at around 150,000 through March.

PEV sales in Norway had been in the hundreds per year back to the 1990s and at the end of 2010, there were just 3,366 all-electric vehicles registered in Norway, according to sales tracker Mario R. Duran.

A culture and political environment bestowing generous subsidies conducive to growth was finally given its chance with the series production of new PEV models that have come along this decade.

A special "EL" series plate was introduced in 1999 starting with number 10,000 for use by passenger cars and utility vans to facilitate enforcement of EV benefits. Last year 60,000 (50,000th sold) got a photo op. The count ends at 99,999 and this coud happen by July. At that stage, “EK" has been reserved to signify "elektrisk kjøretøy" (Norwegian for electric vehicle).

A special “EL” series plate was introduced in 1999 starting with number 10,000 for use by passenger cars and utility vans to facilitate enforcement of EV benefits. Last year 60,000 (50,000th sold) got a photo op. The count ends at 99,999 and this could happen by July. At that point, “EK” (“elektrisk kjøretøy” – Norwegian for electric vehicle) has been reserved. Plug-in hybrids do not have reserved license plates, nor as many benefits as all-electric vehicles.

The growth kicked off in earnest with cars including the Mitsubishi i-MiEV and Nissan Leaf driving the tally in 2011 to 5,411 registered. Tesla’s Model S has also been a huge hit, along with a number of other vehicles.

In April 2015 Norway reached a goal three years early of 50,000 zero-emission vehicles intended by 2018. At that stage the country also began reviewing its policies that rewarded buyers of PEVS, while taxing in full those who went with internal combustion.

The percentage of Norway’s market share for PEVs is transcending beyond 25 percent. Compare that to under 1 percent in the U.S.

Tallies

Breaking the numbers down, Norway overwhelmingly prefers – and incentivizes – pure battery electric cars over plug-in hybrids.

Source: NEVA.

Source: NEVA.

Of the 100,600 total through April, about 81,500 of these were all-electric passenger vehicles – but notable here is almost 12,000 were used imports from neighboring countries.

“Since serial production PEV sales began in Europe in 2011, these used imports are not really the typical used car,” observed Duran of almost new cars brought in under regulatory loopholes in other EU countries. “Norwegians buy a lot of used imports from neighboring countries.”

As for plug-in hybrids, the registration count is a bit less than 17,100 and of these 99.8 percent are new purchases.

All-electric vans numbered at just over 2,050 units in total.

Accelerating Growth

The number of registrations by year tell the tale of rapidly increasing growth.

In 2012, there were 4,370 PEVs registered; in 2013, it was 10,636; in 2014, the number jumped to 23,048 registered that year; and last year 39,632 PEVs were registered.

Source: EV Norway.

Source: EV Norway.

This year through April the count is 17,095 and calendar year to date, the percentage of market share is 29.3 percent. In March a full one out of every three cars registered was a PEV – 33.5 percent.

Clearly, they like PEVs in Norway. While skeptics in America and elsewhere continue to furrow their brow in disapproval, Norway is showing that where there is a will, there is a way.

In proposal now is a plan to utterly eliminate petroleum passenger vehicle sales by 2025.

Source: EV Norway.

Source: EV Norway.