Nearly a third of new cars sold in Norway last year were all-electric — a new global milestone and a major step for the country, which aims to end sales of fossil fuel vehicles by 2025, Reuters reported.
Last year, Norwegians purchased 46,000 all-electric cars, which exclude hybrids, making up 31.2 percent of new vehicle sales. That’s up from 20.8 percent in 2017 and 5.5 percent in 2013, according to the Norwegian Road Federation, an independent organization that tracks transportation trends. Meanwhile, sales of diesel and gasoline cars were down 17 percent and sales of hybrids that cannot be plugged in fell 20 percent. Nissan’s Leaf electric car was the top-selling vehicle in the country, followed by small, non-electric BMWs and Volkswagens.
“It was a small step closer to the 2025 goal,” Oeyvind Solberg Thorsen, head of the road federation, said at a press conference.
Norway has long been a global leader in the electric vehicle industry. The initiative began in the 1990s as an effort to cut pollution, congestion, and noise in urban centers; now its primary rationale is combating climate change. Drivers of electric vehicles get significant tax breaks, toll-free travel, and free parking and charging stations, thanks to the country’s abundant hydroelectric power resources. To read more about Norway’s surge in electric vehicles, click here.