Norway is the undisputed global capital of e-mobility. Private cars, taxis, buses, ferries, airport ground equipment—they’re all plugging in.
The trend of steady electrification continued last year. The market share of plug-in vehicles rose from 65 percent in 2021 to 80 percent in 2022. This represents an important step towards reaching the country’s goal climate goal of 100 percent zero-emission vehicle sales in 2025, and proves that affordable BEVs are the number-one choice for car buyers, says Christina Bu, Secretary General of The Norwegian EV Association.
No, drivers didn’t just decide on their own to go green. The Norwegian success story is down to a substantial package of government incentives. The most significant of these is an exemption from hefty sales taxes on vehicles, which has made plug-ins considerably more affordable than legacy vehicles.
Now that the transition appears to be a done deal, Norway’s politicians want to ease up on the generous incentives. Beginning this year, a 25 percent value-added tax will be levied on new EVs priced above 500,000 Norwegian kroner (around $50,000). A new weight-based tax will also come into play.
Naturally, EV advocates aren’t supporters of the new taxes. “We cannot foresee how these new EV taxations will affect EV sales,” says Ms. Bu. “We are campaigning hard to remind the Norwegian government just how important these incentives are to succeed and continue to show the world that a cold climate and remote infrastructure are no excuse not to go 100 percent electric.”
Another often-cited excuse is a lack of available EV models. This doesn’t seem to be a problem in Norway—as reported by the Norwegian Road Federation, the 10 top-selling cars in 2022 were all BEVs:
- Tesla Model Y (17,356 units sold)
- Volkswagen ID.4 (11,561)
- Skoda Enyaq (7,133)
- BMW iX (6,127)
- Volvo XC40 (5,279 EVs)
- Hyundai IONIQ 5 (5,044)
- Audi Q4 e-tron (4,928)
- Audi e-tron (4,740)
- Polestar 2 (4,692)
- Ford Mustang Mach-E (4,226)
“Our message to the rest of the world is crystal clear,” says the EV Association. “Now there is no excuse for the ICE’s unnecessary pollution when the climate crisis is so urgent to solve.”
If Norway can do it, any country should be able to, says Ms. Bu. We’re sure she is correct, but feel compelled to note that Norwegians obviously do not share Americans’ fascination with pickup trucks. Our Top 10 list isn’t likely to look anything like theirs until automakers introduce more EVs with cabs, beds and trailer hitches.
Source: Norwegian EV Association