New plug-in passenger car registrations in Norway – March 2016
A record 13,896 plug-in electric car sales were recorded in Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden) during Q1'2016 according to Insero.
Most of those sales are of pure electric cars - 7,541 compared to 6,355 plug-in hybrids, despite colder temperate on average that would normally favor the plug-in hybrid platform.
Søren Bernt Lindegaard, consultant at Insero said:
"The market for EVs is still in its infancy. It takes some getting used to switch from gasoline to electricity, and at the same time the range of new EVs remain limited, providing excellent conditions for PHEVs as a transitional technology.
In the first quarter of 2016, PHEVs accounted for 45.7% of the total sales of battery-powered vehicles in the Nordic countries, and we expect a significant increase in the coming years - until the market for EVs has matured sufficiently".
The largest player in Nordic countries is of course Norway with nearly 11,000 registrations, but Finland also achieved its best quarter as well.
On the other hand, lowered tax incentives for EVs in Denmark stalled market.
"Where Norway, Finland and partly Sweden has experienced an increase in sales, the introduction of taxes on electric cars has stalled the Danish market – even despite the fact that sales of PHEVs are keeping pace with previous quarters.
"The gradual introduction of EVs into the normal tax system in Denmark has - as expected - had a significant impact on sales. Where we saw 1,185 new battery-powered vehicles on average per quarter in 2015, we have only seen 242 new vehicles on the roads so far in 2016”, explains Søren Bernt Lindegaard.
A gradual introduction means that new EV buyers will be charged 20% of the registration tax in 2016, followed by 40%, 65% and 90% in the subsequent years. In 2020, it is expected that the tax will be fully implemented.
“Besides falling behind the other Nordic countries in terms of an EV rollout, the stagnant sales of EVs in Denmark also makes Denmark less capable of exploiting the large amount of renewable energy produced from e.g. wind turbines. EVs are ideal for the purpose, but it requires better framework conditions to exploit the full potential”, says Søren Bernt Lindegaard.
Norway remains in the driver's seat
With sales surpassing 10.000 battery-powered cars and representing one third of all sold cars in Norway during the quarter, the Norwegian advancement on the EV and PHEV market has continued at undeterred pace in the first months of 2016.
"Norway shows how quickly public opinion can be influenced through a determined effort by politicians. Critics will argue that the success of EVs in Norway is a matter of unfair subsidies, and economy is certainly an important factor. However, it does not explain the large sale of PHEVs, which does not share the same benefits as the EVs. Insero expects the strong growth to continue on the Norwegian market", explains Søren Bernt Lindegaard.
Likewise, Finland has experienced an impressive beginning to 2016 with 390 sold electric vehicles – their best quarter to date."