Norway Sets All-Time Record For Plug-In Electric Car Sales In March

APR 13 2016 BY MARK KANE 29

New plug-in passenger car registrations in Norway – March 2016

New plug-in passenger car registrations in Norway – March 2016

Nissan breaks the ice as new Nissan LEAF 30 kWh hits showrooms

Nissan breaks the ice as new Nissan LEAF 30 kWh hits showrooms

Norway again astonishes the world with an extremely high market share of new plug-in electric cars sold this month.

A seemingly permanently sustained level of over 20% has now jumped to 33.5% in March!

One in three passenger cars registered in Norway was plug-in hybrid or all-electric

During the month, a record 4,646 passenger plug-ins were registered out of 13,875 total.

All-electric cars still hold the majority of plug-in sales, but the 2,595 sold was actually 23.5% less than year ago.  On the other hand, the 2,051 plug-in hybrids moved is new record, up a massive 468%

Of note: those numbers don’t include a massive two passenger hydrogen fuel cell cars sold, or the 465 used, but imported passenger all-electric cars, and a further 72 light commercial vans (68 new and 4 used imported).

The new, longer range Nissan LEAF returned back to previous form with 676 new registrations, which was 4.9% of the total market in March.  The 1,413 LEAFs sold in the first three months of the year is also the third best result in Norway. In only one month prior has the Nissan LEAF had more registrations (716 in October 2013).

The VW e-Golf continues to lead the overall year-to-date totals with 1,765 sold in 2016, but placed 3rd in March with 540 sales.  The VW GTE has its best showing of the year with 526 registrations (950 YTD).

The top spot for March went to the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, just edging out the LEAF with 686 new registrations.

Some 487 Tesla Model S registrations was also one of the best results in recent months, although a year ago it was 1,140, showing Tesla’s focus being more on US production and scale up of the Model X early in the year when normally more production time would be allotted to international deliveries. In the first quarter, Tesla sold less than half the Model S sedans in Norway than it did a year ago in 2015 (705 VS. 1,532).

A decent 291 registrations were also logged by the Renault ZOE.

New plug-in passenger car registrations in Norway – March 2016

New plug-in passenger car registrations in Norway – March 2016

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29 Comments on "Norway Sets All-Time Record For Plug-In Electric Car Sales In March"

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I wonder when gas stations start closing.

Good question. Norway will probably be the test case to see how the tipping point is going to work in other countries.

Isn’t it Norway where they have started installing fast charging stations in the petrol stations?


Mnay will just turn into charging stations – they already make most money on things like coffee, snacks etc.

Presumably they’ll become charging service providers. Shell (yes, Royal Dutch) has begun installing fast chargers at their stations. In any case, it’s obviously a very long time until there’s no market for fossil fuel. Even this month 75% of cars sold use them, many of which will be around twenty years from now. I really wonder how many Ampera-e Opel Norway can get their hands on. There must be MANY buyers who are holding off for that. The Model 3 obviously will also be extremely important, but there’s much insecurity about what it will cost. Norway has always had a LOT of taxes on cars, and tax making up half the sticker price isn’t uncommon. Today, and until the end of 2017, BEVs are exempt of these taxes. In addition, they park for free at all municipal parking, may drive in the bus lane, and even go on ferries for free. All of these very considerable incentives are uncertain beyond 2018. Nobody thinks all will be removed at once, but since it isn’t yet decided the Model 3 might become considerably more expensive than an Ampera-e delivered in 2017. I think that if Opel gets enough cars, the first month… Read more »

They need to start eliminating some of those incentives now. For example, the bus lane usage is clogging up traffic. And free ferry service? Let them charge for free on the ferries.

Otherwise there will eventually be a big backlash.

It is Norway not Texas.

Eventually, Norway will be 100% BEV.

Once the Norwegian ICEv market craters then it is time to scale back incentives.

Oh, a backlash can certainly happen in Norway. They had the mother of all backlashes with that crazed Anders Brevik. 🙁

Just remember what happened in Georgia. They had a very generous incentive. But when the backlash came, not only did they completely eliminate the incentive, they added an extra fee for plug-in cars. :-/

Gas stations had been closing in Norway long before EVs came into play. They have seen a 20% reduction in stations during the last 15 years.

They have been closing in many parts of Europe since the cars fuel consumption has been reduced (among other things) for quite a while.

EVs don’t really have that much of an impact yet, but soon they will increase the closing rate a bit.

When will we see a 50% marketshare of Plug-Ins in Norway?


When will the model 3 be delivered in norway? They might coincide.

Probably in 2019. So maybe March 2019 if Tesla comes with a big batch.

If Opel Norway could get as many Ampera-e as they can sell, I think it would be next spring – if only for one month. But the chance of that happening is zilch in my estimation.

Before January 2,2020

I find the dotted line “previous year” on the graph confusing. It seems to be the actual number of registrations, but because its a line and not a bar it is natural to assume it is a percentage and compare it with the yellow line.

Anyone else have this confusion or just me?

No, it is not just you.

The legend says “Previous year”, but doesn’t say if it is related to registrations or market share.

me too, a bar for the previous year would be much better (maybe shifted a little to overlap not completely).

Anyone know why March is such a big month for sales?

It is traditionally for car sales, in northern climes. People can get out once again after a long cold lonely winter. Here comes the sun…


Im Märzen der Bauer die Rösslein anspannt…

As horses have been mostly replaced, people just seem to do what they always did…

Tomorrow I will plow the garden…

How come United States and other developed countries are so far behind Norway in phasing out pure gas cars timely ?

Because – AFAIK – they have no car manufacturing industry (like US or Germany) and therefore no lobby to protect the ICE world – despite their own oil business

BTW, the “465 used but imported” BEVs seem to be mainly brand new KIA Souls, registered in Germany for one day before being exported to Norway. Thus, they have a relatively high percentage of new BEVs in Germany, but do not show up there on the roads. It’s all to polish the CO2 emission statistics and help continue to sell KIA ICEs in Germany.

Germany 2016 YTD has less than 300 Soul EV registerd. No way that all of those “465 used but imported” are Kia Souls from Germany.

I think around 100-200 Jan-March might be from germany. There certainly will be a lot of old Leafs from all over Europe and some Zoe from France (high incentive) too.

Why has the phev sales risen so high now? The outlander has been around for quite some time now…

And it’s going to be soooo interesting to see how the sales are affected when Ampera-e and model 3 are released!

It’s because of changed tax rules. Before a PHEV could be 2-3 times more expensive than a BEV (and even more expensive than a regular ICE).

Now the PHEVs are closer in price and then many prefer them over BEVs or regular ICEs. For example the e-Golf is the cheapest Golf to buy starting at 267k NOK but the Golf GTE is “only” ~30% more expensive at 343k NOK.

Now the Outlander starts from 400k NOK which is the same price as a Golf GTD and cheaper than a Golf GTI.

Where is all the VW haters? You are surprising me after many frequently would call them forgotten/insignificant manufacturer.

Why are people in Norway, the most wallet friendly country to buy EV, opting for cars from significant VW? What are they missing??

It’s the very large VW dealer network in Norway, that safes their back. Most long term customers continue to stick to their neighbour dealer.