EV Sales Down 80% In Denmark For 2016 After Tax Policy Change

1 year ago by Mark Kane 28

Plug-in electric car sales in Denmark (official and EV Sales Blog data) – December 2015

Plug-in electric car sales in Denmark (official and EV Sales Blog data) – December 2015

CLEVER charging point in Denmark

Renault ZOE at CLEVER charging point in Denmark

Denmark plug-in electric car sales have been subdued this year, as the government decided to gradually end the plug-in exemption from a normally steep (up to) 150% tax.

As one can see from the chart above, consumers rushed to buy EVs in November and December or last year, avoiding the first 20% tax wave beginning in January.

Mid-way through 2016 (June) sales of plug-in cars stand at only 288 units sold for the first 6 months, compared to 1,299 year ago, off almost 80% (data via EV Sales Blog).

And now, heading into those tough tax-expiry months of 2015, things don’t get any easier…2015 ended with  some 4,750 new plug-ins registered.

The 20% new “tax hit” seems to be making a big difference, and it will only get worse the number goes up to 40% in 2017, and ultimately to the full amount by 2020 unless government policy reverses.

Norway, reports that current new registrations (by the end of July) decreased year-over-year by 80% from 1,332 to 270.

source: E24 Norway via GAS2

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28 responses to "EV Sales Down 80% In Denmark For 2016 After Tax Policy Change"

  1. Ocean Railroader says:

    They really love to Tax and Tax over there.

    1. MikeG says:

      What an uninformed comment. The also get a lot better services for their money–like getting sick won’t wipe you out financially like it does in more advanced places like the US.

      1. Alaa says:

        Do you need that much money to keep your health system running? You must have really bad diseases.
        If anything you should encourage people to NOT burn gasoline or diesel so that your health gets better. And stop taking the jewelry and money of the refuges that try to live in your country. Also pray to God that NATO and Russia doesn’t make minced meat out of you and then you might have to look for another country to live in, were they will take your personal belongings like you do to the refuges.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Reminds me of a bit from “My Fair Lady”:

          HIGGINS: This is what the British population calls an elementary education.

          PICKERING: Oh come, sir; I think you picked a poor example.

        2. x says:

          because it is only so fair to have “refugees” with thousands of dollars in their pockets that go directly to social services (them and their up to 4 wives +x children) living of tax-payer money Oh no, why should they use their money/sell their jewelry when we could support them for free, right?

          1. Alaa says:

            Let us see how much money you will have when you flee.

            1. x says:

              If someone has little money I don’t think that the Danes will empty their pockets.
              But some not that poor people are taking advantage of the system, not only in Denkmark , and that is unfair.

    2. mx says:

      Better then living in a low tax slum repub state.

      1. SJC says:

        Republicans won’t pay taxes to fix roads, but they will buy SUVs to run over pot holes.

  2. ffbj says:

    It’s the new right-wing government rescinding many of the former initiatives/policies of the preceding government. In essence throwing the baby out with the bathwater, as across the board green initiatives are being unfunded.

    1. sven says:

      One green incentive that the new right-wing government extended until 2018 instead of rescinding was the hydrogen FCEV tax exemption. But I don’t think it had anything to do with big oil lobbying, since 100% of the hydrogen produced in Denmark is from renewable sources (excess wind power).


      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Big Oil certainly has a motive to bribe lobby politicians in every country, regardless of how much or how little frackogen is produced there, to promote a “hydrogen economy”. The primary motive for Big Oil pushing the fake “hydrogen highway” isn’t really to sell natural gas to be reformed into hydrogen; that’s merely a fringe benefit.

        The real motive is to promote the “Potemkin Village” of fool cell cars, and thus divert resources and attention away from development of PEVs (Plug-in EVs), which are the technology that really can, and someday will, make the gasmobile obsolete.

        Big Oil most definitely has a motive to help prolong the practice of people buying gasoline-gulping gasmobiles, in every country.

        1. x says:


          and also to replace the gas-station with a hydrogen station and remain the energy monopoly, since these come at 1M$ each or so, plus there’s no sane way to have such a station at your house (simply too unsafe).
          If there would be politicians out there indeed look for the common good we wouldn’t even have this discussion, FCEV are simply dumb in every single respect (except charging time where their advantage is irrelevant). But we don’t have politicians but bought_by_lobbysts hypocrites

          1. Doggydogworld says:

            Why is home H2 filling “too dangerous”? Honda sold a 3600 psi home CNG device (Phill). A PV-driven electrolysis device compressing to 5000 psi seems doable. You’d still use 10k psi filling stations for long trips.

  3. andre says:

    right wing governments usually get elected by majority of people…..it can happen also in the US….(the federal system which makes a big difference!!!)

  4. wavelet says:

    That chart looks mangled. I can’t figure out what the 2016 data is.

  5. Get Real says:

    I’m pretty sure that Bjorn Lomborg, aka the “Danish Denier” who has been taking Koch-Heads money to downplay global warming in Europe is involved at some level.


    1. SparkEV says:

      Have you actually read any Lomborg’s stuff? He doesn’t deny man-made climate change, why are you calling him a denier?

  6. SJC says:

    When Model 3 buyers can not get tax credits, we might see similar results.

  7. Just_Chris says:

    I actually think the 200% tax on cars in Denmark is fairly sensible. So many issues in modern cities and countries are caused by cars. EV’s are a massive improvement on conventional cars from an environmental perspective but still cause traffic and result in an increasingly sedentary life style which is killing most of us. It sucks to see EV sales dropping but hopefully the % of zero emission cars will remain fairly stable and increase with time. Although I assume public transport is that much better so those who need cars probably need the range of a ICE vehicle.

  8. Martin says:

    FYI: Due to a change in registration tax earlier this year the ceiling is not 180% but 150%.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Whoops, yes it is 2016 isn’t it? Will change to 150%…it’s like a deal, (= /thanks

  9. Peter says:

    As a Dane I must say this article is incorrect.

    First of all, as part of its 2016 budget, the Danish government reduced the limit for registration tax on new vehicle purchases from 180 to 150 %.

    Second of all, it is/was far from 150/180 % of the whole value of the car even though foreign media usually portrait it this way. So you have never paid 180/150 % in taxation on cars in Denmark. You “only” pay 105% of the taxable value up to DKK 82,800 (USD 12,457) and 150% (previously 180 %) of the rest.
    Hydrogen-powered vehicles are however still not taxed in Denmark.

    Vehicle registration tax in English, straight from the Danish tax authority (SKAT): https://www.skat.dk/SKAT.aspx?oId=2233626&vId=0

    So for all the cheaper cars you never pay more than 105 % tax. And even for the most expensive cars you never pay 150 % tax as you still only pay 105 % tax for the first DKK 82,800 (USD 12,457) of its value.

    Besides there’s a lot of tax exemptions for things like security features and low fuel consumption. So the calculation is very complicated and this also makes the tax is lower than it seems on most car. Tax exemptions:
    Seat belt alarms: If the car has seat belt alarms you get DKK 200 exemption for each alarm, but for maximum 3 alarms.
    Fuel consumption:
    Gasoline cars: DKK 4,000 exemption for every km the car drives more than 16 km/l. If the car drives less than 16 km/l it will instead be increased by DKK 1,000 per km.
    Diesel cars: Here the threshold is 18 km/l instead of 16 km/l for gasoline cars.

    ABS brakes: DKK 3,750 exemption.

    Airbags: For cars with minimum 3 airbags: DKK 1,280 exemption for each airbag from 3 – 6 airbags. For cars with no airbags it’s instead increased by DKK 7,450.

    ESP-system: DKK 2,500 exemption.

    NCAP-test: DKK 3,750 exemption for cars that have received a 5-star rating in the Euro NCAP collision test.

    Minimum taxation: After all the exemptions above, the minimum taxation must be no lower than DKK 20,000.

    Tax exemptions in Danish from the Danish tax authority (SKAT): https://www.skat.dk/SKAT.aspx?oID=1947291

    With all the tax exemptions you don’t pay much in taxes on micro cars with very low fuel consumption.
    That’s why cars like Toyota Aygo / Peugeot 107/108 / Citroën C1 (all made in the same factory and almost identical) and VW UP! / Škoda Citigo / Seat Mii (all 3 almost identical too) has become very popular.

    The fact that the more expensive regular gasoline and diesel cars has become cheaper in 2016 with the reduction of the top taxation from 180 % to 150 % must also have affected EV sales negatively.

    Surprisingly to most, the reduction form 180 % to 150 % has accentually meant that the Danish tax authority has received more car taxes in 2016 compared to the same period in 2015, because people buy more cars and more expensive cars (and less EVs with no tax).

    1. Sch says:

      Thank you for detail explanation. It was a way to incentive paying extra for safety rather than comfort. However they should update it, abs and esp are mandatory in EU, there should be exemption for things like city brake, lane assist etc. As everywhere law is always behind reality. Thank you.

    2. Kdawg says:

      If the MSRP of the Ampera-e starts at $40,000 USD, any idea what the final price would be after taxes?

    3. Alex says:

      Peter, is there any logic behind this outrageously high vehicle taxation in Denmark? I’m from Finland and to some extent can share your pain but we are nowhere near 105% or 150% tax. For EVs it is 4%, for PHEVs with 50 CO2 g/km it is around 10%. As far as I understand the car tax in Finland was introduced some 60 years ago to punish reach people.

      As a side effect this turned out to be a huge obstacle on the way to renewal of the car fleet in the country. If you drive all the way Germany-Denmark-Sweden-Finland the picture is like this: good cars in GER then shitty&old in DK then good again in SWE then shitty&old in FIN. Few years ago, the Finnish government realized (after 60 year – very Finnish pace!) that we drive non-efficient and dangerous vehicles – now taxes on BEVs and PHEVs are fairly low.

    4. Alex says:

      Forgot to add that something like 911, M, AMG would be taxed with 50% rate due to high CO2 emission.

      An average mid-size diesel car would go with 30% tax.

  10. mr. M says:

    At least they increase the tax only by 20% each year. I think a linear removal over 4 years is way better than 5000$ less from one day to the other…