EVs Make Up Half of New Car Sales in Norway So Far This Year

Electric cars at charging station in Storgata, Tønsberg, Norway.

Electric cars at charging station in Storgata, Tønsberg, Norway. Wikimedia Commons

Nearly half of the new cars sold in Norway in 2019 have been electric vehicles, up from just 25 percent during the same period last year, Reuters reported. The sales, which exclude hybrids, keep Norway in the top spot globally for EV adoption and mark a major milestone in the country’s effort to end the sale of fossil fuel vehicles by 2025.

In March alone, EVs accounted for more than 58 percent of vehicle purchases in Norway, outselling gas and diesel cars for the first time ever, according to the Norwegian Road Federation. The Nordic country has encouraged the switch to electric transportation by making battery-driven cars tax exempt and offering incentives such as toll-free travel, bus-lane access, privileged parking, and an extensive charging infrastructure.

While Norway remains well ahead of the rest of the world in terms of EV sales per capita, other countries are also seeing robust growth. In the United States, for example, the number of EV cars in Maryland grew so rapidly in the last year that the state’s tax credit program — which has a $3 million annual budget — ran out of money seven months before the end of the fiscal year. According to The Baltimore Sun, “the number of EVs registered in Maryland doubled from 2017 to 2018, and reached more than 18,000 as of February.”