Electric cars hit 65% of sales in Norway, as Tesla grabs the overall pole

  • Tesla’s best-selling brand ahead of Volkswagen in 2021
  • Tesla’s Model 3 most popular model in general
  • BEVs are seen to take 75-80% of the Norwegian market in 2022

OSLO, January 3 (Reuters) – Electric cars accounted for almost two-thirds of Norway’s new sales in 2021, with Tesla the best-selling car brand overall, as the country pursues its goal of being the first to stop selling petrol and diesel cars.

While Norway with a population of 5.4 million has the world’s highest share of electric cars, China with its 1.4 billion people is by far the largest total car market.

Oil-producing Norway has encouraged the transition to zero-emission cars by exempting electric battery vehicles (BEVs) from taxes on internal combustion engines (ICE).

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This tax relief is expected to help drive the share of total electric sales as high as 80% in 2022, ahead of a deadline to stop sales of petrol and diesel cars in 2025.

Total new sales in Norway increased by 25% in 2021 to a record high of 176,276 cars, of which 65% were fully electric. This market share increased from 54% in 2020.

While the small, wealthy Norway is seen as a key market where you can gain a foothold for new BEV players, including China’s Nio and Swedish Volvo Cars (VOLCARb.ST) affiliate Polestar.

Tesla (TSLA.O) had a share of 11.6% of Norway’s total car market in 2021, making it the number one brand for the first time on a year-round basis ahead of Germany’s Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) by 9.6%, the Norwegian Road Association (NRF) stated on Monday.

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The U.S. automaker reported on Sunday quarterly deliveries far exceeding Wall Street estimates, eliminating the global chip shortage as it increased China’s production, lifting its shares to a one-month high on Monday. Read more

The Tesla Model 3 was this year’s most popular model in Norway ahead of Toyota’s (7203.T) hybrid RAV4, the only car among the top-10 with an internal combustion engine, and Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) electric ID.4 in third place.

Representatives of the industry said they expect sales of electric cars to grow to as much as 80% of the total market in Norway by 2022, although supply chain problems could put the brakes on this.

“We believe we will exceed 80% electric cars next year,” said Christina Bu, head of the Norwegian EV Association.

“But there is great uncertainty in that forecast, and it depends on shipping – many car manufacturers have delivery problems,” she added.

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“Norway is the country with the greatest openness to electric cars, the greatest understanding of what it is to drive an electric car and the most inviting to have an alternative,” Polestars CEO Thomas Ingenlath told Reuters.

Polestar’s luxury sedan was the 10th most popular car model in Norway in 2021, and it will debut its Polestar 3 SUV in 2022.

“Launching this premium SUV … will definitely change the way people will perceive Polestar, so I have really high expectations for moving the brand forward,” Ingenlath said.

Chinese electric car manufacturers have sought to push up exports in line with Beijing’s ambition to build a world-class car industry and compete with traditional car companies. Read more

Nine launched lavish showrooms in central Oslo in 2021, the first abroad, with the aim of selling its ES8 sports utility vehicles and ET7 sedans as part of plans to expand globally.

It also plans charging and battery replacement stations.

“Our exchange station strategy, we will expand quite sharply (in 2022),” said Marius Hayler, head of Nio Norway, adding that he expects about 75% of total car sales will be electric by 2022.

While tax exemptions are helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, they cost the state $ 30 billion ($ 3.41 billion) in lost revenue last year, the Treasury Department estimates.

So the ruling center-left coalition plans to gradually start taxing the most expensive BEV cars by 2023, while taxes on petrol, diesel and hybrids increase this year. Read more

($ 1 = 8.8088 Norwegian kroner)

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Edited by Terje Solsvik and Alexander Smith

Our standards: Thomson Reuters trust principles.

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