No country can yet match Norway when it comes to the proportion of plug-in electrified vehicles (PEVs), and adding in hybrids, the tally rises to almost 40 percent.
Specifically, the total of hybrid, electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles added to 38.7 percent during the first six months of Norway’s new car market, representing a one-third rise over January to June 2015.
Last May we reported that the small Nordic country, population 5.2 million, became the fourth market to register more than 100,000 PEVs — trailing only China, the U.S. and Japan.
The percentage of Norway’s market share for PEVs has made headlines before, keeps climbing, and is now at 28.4 percent. Compare that to about 0.75 percent in the U.S.
The “PEV market” category in this case includes both pure battery electric (EVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs).
At the end of 2015, EVs were the dominant category of the two with an 18.4 percent market share.
The leading sellers were the Volkswagen e-Golf followed by Nissan’s Leaf, the Renault Zoe and the BMW i3.
Plug-in hybrids in comparison barely made a showing on the sales chart, garnering just 4.5 percent of the new car market.
What a difference six months can make.
New cars registered in the first half of this year shows that EV sales dropped nearly three percent to a market share of 15.1 percent, while PHEVs had a dramatic increase and garnered 13.3 percent of sales.
The PHEV sales charge is attributed to a growing number of new model offerings along with buyers waiting for the new electric Leaf with a 30 kilowatt-hour battery pack that provides a longer driving range.
The top-seller at the end of June, as it is across Europe, is the Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in crossover vehicle.
New Volkswagen PHEVs, the Golf GTE and Passat GTE experienced rapid growth as did the Volvo XC90, Mercedes-Benz GLE and BMW X5 40e.
Norway’s growth of electrified vehicles can be attributed to the government exempting a 25 percent sales tax for e-cars, and dismissing a registration fee that averages more than $12,000, depending on vehicle weight, engine size, nitrogen oxide pollution level and carbon dioxide emissions.
While these incentives, along with the exemption of high priced parking fees and highway tolls, have made the country the poster child for electrified vehicles, the subsidies have created a tax shortfall of $267.7 million dollars according to Reuters.
This could mean Norway might have to stall its plan to eliminate petroleum vehicles by 2025 until it can figure out a way to cover the shortage.