Norway Sets New All-Time EV Sales Record, Hits 37.5% Market Share In January

BMW i3

FEB 11 2017 BY MARK KANE 34

New plug-in passenger car registrations in Norway – January 2017

Norway began 2017 in style, setting a new all-time plug-in electric vehicle sales record!

In total, 4,898 new passenger plug-ins were registered, which was up 75% year-over-year.

BMW i3

Market share of passenger plug-ins hit 37.5%

It’s amazing that Norway is moving towards 40% market share with new record of 37.5% – that means that now more than 1 out of every 3 new vehicles in Norway is sold with a plug!

And this result is still ahead of other longer-range EVs entering the market – such as the Opel Ampera-e in June.

Passenger registration breakdown:

  • BEVs (2,289 – up 20.5% and 17.5% market share) + 494 used and 65 vans (54 new and 11 used)
  • PHEVs (2,609 – up 190.9% and 20% market share)
  • FCVs (6)

For the month, the best selling plug-in for Norway was the BMW i3, which noted 622 new registrations (4.8% of all new vehicles in the country), taking second spot among all models.  The Volkswagen Golf lead all sales, and of the 738 sold, 235 were e-Golfs and 257 were plug-in Golf GTEs.

The Volkswagen Passat GTE dueled with Volvo XC90 T8 for the third best selling position with 411 and 398 sales respectively. 80% of all Passats sold were plug-in hybrids, while the XC90 T8 exceeded 96% (we look forward to the announcement of the first gas vehicle cancellation due to low sales against its plug-in counterpart!).

Other well selling models were the Nissan LEAF with 352 sales, Mercedes GLC350e with 275, Renault ZOE at 240 and the Tesla Model X noted 238 sales and #14 place in the overall rank. The Tesla Model S logged 129 registrations, giving 367 total registrations for Tesla during the month.

New plug-in passenger car registrations in Norway – January 2017

New plug-in passenger car registrations in Norway – January 2017

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34 Comments on "Norway Sets New All-Time EV Sales Record, Hits 37.5% Market Share In January"

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Norway is very impressive in their EV adoption, with lots of clean renewable energy also. A win-win situation.

Only side of the coin:

Did you have a look at their oil export stats?


“The export value of crude oil and natural gas in 2016 was about NOK 350 billion. This amounts to approximately 47 % of the total value of Norway’s exports of goods. Exports of natural gas increased marginally in 2016. However, the export revenues decreased compared to 2015. Oil exports increased for the third consecutive year, but also here the value decreased compared to 2015 because of lower average prices.”

These oil exports feed their EV subsidies and national fund.

They just export their pollution…

How do you equate selling oil to “feeding” EV subsidies? They tax ICE cars so no one buys them and they are forced to buy EVs. The oil proceeds goes to the entire country’s infrastructure. What you say makes no sense.

A tax on one is a (n indirect) subsidy on the other.

Norway’s wealth is largely built on oil. Without high purchasing power people also couldn’t afford these taxes.

But my main point is: Norway is simply exporting pollution, see the stats I quoted above.

Norway is also exporting *lots* of clean hydro energy, and working as a ‘battery’ for connected countries like UK, The Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden.

Lots of the Hydro power in Norway can be instantaneously swithed on/off, meaning that in Peak demand periods we can export *a lot* of clean energy, and in the night we can switch off hydro and import from power plants in other countries running on fossil fuels.

In net this allows a lot of balancing power plants and some of the dirtiest base power plants in Europe to be closed down.
Power lines are still being built to expand on this.

Also, Norway hosts *a lot* of power-hungry industries that else would have been placed in other countries, and been run on fossil fuels.

So, the image you paint as an “exporter of emissions” are a bit more faceted at least.

At the end of 2018, with the Ampera-e, new Leaf, Zoe 40, new Golf-e and then the “king” model 3, I think it’s reasonable to wait for a market share above 50%.

Dont forget a refreshed i3 which might have more range and is already the best seller there…

My i3 isnt even 2 months old and I love it so much I am hoping they come out with the refresh by July so I can get a second i3.

You are right. I forgot it as we don’t heard a lot about an updated version, and the i5 seems only a wishful promise that goes, goes away every time BMW speak about it…
But with all of these, I even hope secretly that Norway will pass this 50% market share even before the end of 2018, in fact passing it in March 2018 would be…”Ludicrous”!


March 2017 will already see higher than 50% market share for plug in, so why are all of you talking bout 2018?

What are you basing that on? March has been peaking because of Tesla deliveries, but Teslas don’t sell that much in Norway anymore.
But it is likely that might be achieved in 2017 already. But it is definitely happening in 2018 with all the new 200 mile offerings.

If not in march, surely before summer.

Rumour has it that the Ampera-e has an order backlog approaching 10.000, the new Zoe will arrive, the new Ford Focus will arrive, the Hyundai Ioniq will arrive in more decent volumes, the new golf will arrive, +++

Add to that the increasing availability of lots of plugin-models, and 50% is realistic very soon 🙂

100 is above 50.

Looking at the EV/PHEV breakdown it appears that while EV sales are relatively flat for the past year, PHEV sales have tripled. In my book that’s not very confidence-inspiring, people are hedging their bets, prefer to stay tethered to the pump. In a country with a comprehensive charging network that is quite disconcerting.

No, it just means that EVs are attracting more normal people who aren’t anal about Whether their car has a backup generator or not. In fact, the more successful EVs are, the greater the share of phev will be. Get over it.

Once people see the lines at superchargers in Norway, the choice becomes very clear to them. BEVs are terrible for cold climates. PHEVs get free heat. If not for the generous incentives in Norway favoring for BEVs, they would be overrun quickly by PHEVs.

Wasting two thirds of the fuel is hardly “free”. BEVs are great for cold climates.
They heat faster, there is infrastructure to charge, you can preheat them, they always start easily even in very cold temperatures, have better traction and can have real all wheel drive.

You have obviously never been living in a cold climat with both BEVs and ICEs so why spread ignorance?

You do know, that for the last few decades many ICE cars in Scandinavia are equipped with an electric heating system that is plugged in over night in the winter in order to have the car start at all in the morning?

So why should a BEV that is charged over night anyway, not do that?

There are plenty of people who still have range anxiety, so better for those to buy a PHEV instead of an ICE. But don’t underestimated the PHEV. With a decent range, people get hooked on driving all-electric.

If the Norwegians would prefer PHEV over BEV, than the BEV share would rapidly decline, instead of the PHEV eating away the ICE-berg

They’re not even hedging their bets. They’re taking advantage of a huge tax advantage. It doesn’t necessarily mean they are even the smallest smidge interested in electric cars.

How come you are always unlucky when commenting? 😛 They are very interested and commited to BEVs, but BEV models are still few, fairly short-ranged and just small cars (or extremely expensive).

Yup, currently there are no large family cars available as BEV’s in the low to medium price range (not everyone can afford Tesla S/X).

Also, the 4WD market has the same problem (only Tesla S/X offers this).

And, tow hitches being very popular – only Tesla X supports this as of now.

As for car styling, the enourmusly popular high-rise SUV look is also very uncommon among BEV’s

Actually, BEV’s only really being available in the Compact/Subcompact market segment, and BEV’s despite of that having ~20% market share is actually quite phnomenal!

And this is no doubt explained by the lack of really compelling long-range BEVs aside from expensI’ve Tesla which is doing quite well there and will no doubt sell very well every Model 3 they can get over there.

It’s realy good, I was expecting norvegians will wait the arrival of the Zoé 40 and Opel Ampera-E. If it’s continu like that, 2017 will be great for BEV.
I was said Opel have received a lot of reservation for the Ampera-E.

This is wonderful of course, but I still have to voice my discontent with the conservative government, which has caused the otherwise impressive EV share to matter less than it used to – by favoring PHEVs. They are now the majority of plug-in vehicles, a meaningless category since most of the PHEVs are much closer to fossil cars in their environmental impact than they are to BEVs. The argument is often voiced that PHEVs are a stepping stone to BEVs. Maybe so, and maybe that is fine in markets where plug-in cars are not well known by most people and overall share is a percent or two. Over here, I think what matters more is that the cars sold today will be on the roads for 15-20 years. If more of the plug-ins were BEVs and fewer were PHEVs, the actual improvement would be much bigger. And BEV share has declined in the past couple of years. Please understand that almost none of the PHEVs sold are at the good end of the spectrum. BMW i3 rEX doesn’t sell well and Opel Ampera (Chevrolet Volt) isn’t even on the market (the first-gen was, but this was before PHEVs found favor… Read more »

What exactly is your point, do you mean that plugin hybrids are bought in Norway specifically just for incentives/tax avoidance and rarely plugged in? I’m not familiar with it.

Because otherwise they still provide mostly the same zero tailpipe emissions, as most people use cars for relatively short distance commuting or runabout most of the time.

p.s. Very high gas taxes in Norway and relatively cheap electricity around 0.15EUR/kWh should provide enough incentive to plug them whenever practical.

I think that is the worry: since the last revision of car taxes, PHEV-versions became cheaper than ICE-versions with the same engine strength.
Hence, people buy them not because they want a plugin, but because it is cheaper. And the worry is that some (unknown) percentage of those will use the car as if it was an ICE car and never charge it.
As a result, CO2 emmisions from those cars will be significantly higher than what they look like on paper…

Exactly. PHEV = gas car

Exactly. PHEV = electric car.

The truth is rather that you can drive it on either, some (very few) are driven just like a conventional hybrid. Almost all are plugged in regularly.

And all stats/reports so far has shown that PHEVs in Europe and the US on average drive 40-70% of miles on electricity.

Even the lousy first gen. Prius plugin got 20-30% of miles on electricity.

There is one more aspect to the worry. About 50% of cars sold in Norway are company cars. If you get a company car, your employer pays for the gas.

In such a scenario, it would be economically insane for most people to plug in their PHEV’s, since gas=free and electricity=costs.

Yes this is a pretty dumb argument if people actually use the facts instead of being purest ignoramuses.

Automakers should have access to electric/gas mode use statistics, and the government should be able to request it.

Maybe even third party may be able to get such statistics with some effort. Without it and without even anecdotal reports it is just baseless speculation how PHEVs are really used.

We do need an improved range of vehicles. We are still missing a whol host of usable workhorses like pickups, minivans, delivery trucks and so forth. The diversity is not there!

I agree. Minibusses, delivery vans and regular sized electric cars with a trailer hook. Pick-ups are about as common as Porche in Norway.. so people use trailers, and need trailer hooks. With the high torque of an electric engine they should be a perfect towing vehicle. Tesla model X is super expensive, and cost about twice as much as the average car buyer is interested to pay for a car. I use my trailer hook 2-3 times a week, so I can not buy an electric car, before I can get one with a hook. I’m not pulling tonns of stuff, but 600-900kg would be OK to begin with. Also.. a regular diesel delivery van can not drive as many km as they used to do before they were fitted with all the environmental “add ons” like EGR valves, Ad Blue, dual mass flywheel, particle filters and so on. They used to be able to drive a million km with ease. Now, 600K km – and they become to expensive to maintain. To many parts to change. With an electric van, with a superiod quality, with focus on range . . you will have a best seller. Low maintenance costs,… Read more »