Volkswagen e-Golf Makes Big Sales Splash In Norway In July

AUG 11 2014 BY MARK KANE 29

Number of registrations of used & new all-electric passenger cars in Norway - July 2014 (credit to Grønn Bil)

Number of registrations of used & new all-electric passenger cars in Norway – July 2014 (credit to Grønn Bil)

Sales of electric cars in Norway grew in July by almost 400% year-on-year.

Last month, the number of registrations of new all-electric passenger cars reached 1,365 and 11.7% market share, which was supplemented by 231 used imported EVs. In total, we see roughly 1,600 passenger EVs sold in Norway in July.

On top of that, official statistics give 23 all-electric vans (20 new, and 3 used imported). We also found that Norway had 117 plug-in hybrids (113 new and 4 used imported) registered last month.

July was the month with a big splash from Volkswagen. The German manufacturer sold the most EVs that month – 391 e-Golfs, which is more than the 313 Nissan LEAFs. Moreover, together with 282 e-up!s, Volkswagen sold total 680 EVs to become the number one brand!

Nissan however can console themselves in that Norwegians are importing LEAFs from the rest of the world in tremendous numbers – 206 in July alone. This mean that Norway had over 500 new-to-Norway LEAFs put on the roads last month.

BMW i3 is fourth with 124 new registrations. i3, in the last three months, has been unable to exceed 200 units (the record in March was 336).

Tesla Model S fell back to fifth having 114 registrations, but still is the overall second best-selling car in Norway YTD (3,248 units while LEAF has 2,978 and #5).

Renault ZOE scored its best result of 41 new registrations.  However, that’s still 9 less than the 50 Mitsubishi i-MiEVs sold in July.

On the plug-in hybrid segment, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV had 106 new registrations and over 900 YTD.

Interesting is to see 4 new Nissan e-NV200s registered.

Volkswagen e-Golf

Volkswagen e-Golf

Categories: Sales, Volkswagen

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29 Comments on "Volkswagen e-Golf Makes Big Sales Splash In Norway In July"

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I assume that the tax and incentive regime in Norway is far less favourable to PHEV than BEV or the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV would have done far better, as it does everywhere else?

I seem to recall reading something to that effect.

Yes, very much so. You pay a lot of extra for emissions and weight on cars in Norway, which an Outlander PHEV both have a fair amount of.

+no exception from VAT for PHEV’s.

The Outlander PHEV cost the same as a barebone Tesla Model S60. 🙂

Presumably there is an exemption about the weight for BEVs, as the Tesla is heavy with 600kgs of battery.

The umpteen VW and Audi PHEVs coming won’t sell very well either then.

Yes, no weight or engine effect taxation for BEV’s like Tesla.
If the Tesla just added a small engine to become a PHEV it would probably cost $250k instead of $70k

I am not a fan of subsidies which are so heavily weighted that they effectively pick the technological solution.

Lawmakers have a fine record of total incompetence in that.

Well… I’m divided on that matter. I’m generally for it but only as long as there is a good reason for steering the people toward that technology.

As in the case of all electric vs. petrol/diesel. And heavy cars vs. light cars.

And sometimes there are small flaws and loop holes but overall it’s leading to a better tomorrow and there is always time to perfect it once you have at least gotten it rolling.

I am fine with that. Thanks to gov intervention, Europe and Asia have a global, standard, and excellent cell phone service network, while the US everyone by himself system still has crappy coverage, and expensive service, etc. Same goes for internet speeds and service.

I’ve got nothing against Government intervention, but IMO it should be on a sliding scale to encourage the target, in this case perhaps average emissions per mile driven, and not target how it is done.

For instance this tax systems virtually precludes the i3 with RE, even though the RE might be used to cover relatively few miles per year.

It is a sliding scale in Norway, which slides you down the lower weight, emissions and motor effect that you have.
The only thing is that the last part of that sliding scale is a big slope to promote zero emission.

I thought, the weight limits were raised in July 2013 for PHEVs and hybrids.

From WIkipedia:

“Until June 2013, plug-in hybrids have not been eligible for these benefits.[41][42] Because the Norwegian tax system levies higher taxes to heavier vehicles, plug-in hybrids are more expensive than similar conventional cars due to the extra weight of the battery pack and its additional electric components. Beginning on 1 July 2013, the existing weight allowance for conventional hybrids and plug-in hybrids of 10% will be increased to 15% for PHEVs.”

Sure they have been because PHEV’s costed way more than ICE’s because of the added weight.

But to give an example. The Volvo V60-plugin which is both powerful and weighs quite a lot.

As a BEV = no weight tax at all, no emission tax, no motor effect tax and no VAT.

So what you pay when you would buy it is the original car price minus the VAT

As a PHEV = $20,5k for the weight, -$8k for being low emission, $15,5k for the motor effect. And full VAT.

So that is original car price + $28k*1,17 (for VAT) when you buy it. = car price + almost $33k.

So even with a bit reduced weight for being a PHEV instead of an ICE it’s still very expensive.

You could buy 2,5 VW Golf diesel for the price of one V60 PHEV because of it’s low weight and low motor effect.

Can the author/editors or a Norway EV insider explain a bit, what’s the deal with all these imports?

I mean, here in the US people are pretty satisfied with their Leafs. I don’t see them parting away from them in such massive numbers every month. Or are these really foreign dealers selling Leafs to Norway?

I too have a feeling this was explained in the past. If so, a little note whenever these imports are mentioned in a post, would be helpful.


The imports are used LEAFs from Sweden,Demmark and Germany making their way to Norway.

Yes, Norway gives more favorable tax treatment to BEVs than PHEVs. As it should be.

BTW Norway treats BEVs and FCEVs equally.

It would appear that ‘used’ LEAFs imported to Norway are also getting an incentive given ~40% used and 60% new LEAFs registered per month. Can someone confirm?

This has to be some kind of record in demand for ‘used’ PEVs. 😉 Great news for owners of LEAFs as with this kind of demand used prices will remain good.

I assume used Leafs also get all the rebates, bus lane access, free parking and free toll benefits. Does anyone know for sure?

Also, does anyone know if Norway is planning to expand the initial quota of 50000 cars for these incentives?

There a consensus on expanding BEV benefits in Norway beyond 50k.

There is not on bus lane access. Apparently bus lanes are getting crowded in Oslo. The debate is how to expand the incentives program.

Just a reminder. The exception from VAT and the one time fee for for weight/effect/emissions for BEV’s in Norway is not an incentive that they need to re-approve.
It’s in fact a law, so they would actively have to change a law to get rid of those incentives.

they go to Spain too for buy cars here because there is a grant of 6500 euros that they don’t have. arrive with a truck to a dealer and buy all they have carried leaf.

The massive parallell import of nearly new Leafs to Norway is due to the higher pricing of Leafs sold in Norway compared to Leafs sold in US, and to some degree also Leafs sold in other EU countries with deduced local countries tax benefits.

There are several unofficial dealers/importers in Norway, that specialize in used Leaf imports, so the market is quite competetive. Since EV import is tax free in Norway, the used Leaf can be sold at very competetive prices.

Though the official Nissan importer have lowered their prices/margins lately, to fight back on the parallell import and against the new e-Golf I guess 🙂

Thanks, Norwegian Leaf Owner!

Do you know, when the quota of 50000 for incentives may expire? And if there is talk about expanding that?
Does any PHEV qualify for the same benefits as EVs?

Another norwegian Leaf owner

The original agreement was that the incentives were to be extended to 2017 or when 50 000 cars were sold. At that time, 2017 seemed to be the first threshold to be met. However, with the current sales, we are going to reach 50 000 BEVs before next summer.

The new goverment has reiterated on the 2017 target, but has not been explicit on the 50 000 number. As the Progress Party which has about 25% of the government historically hax not been in favour of BEVs, there are some hints that things may start changing already next year when the 50 000 goal is met.

We will now more when the new budget proposal for 2015 is finished within a month or two.

This would be a good pipeline for dealers who can avoid import duties and sell their demo model leafs or trade ins for a good price. This would also insure a relatively steady flow of used Leafs into Norway.

I would like to test drive the e-Golf…

Is that an actual desire to drive and electric Golf or a rather obscure euphemism relating to the bedding of a German?

Those sales of the E-Golf must be giving Ghosn and Nissan something to think about in anticipation of when it gets to the US – due at the end of this year, from memory?

next year the US gets the e-gulf, outlander phv, and gen II volt. All will compete with the leaf, but generally grow the plug-in market. The tesla X will also come out, but that is priced too high to compete with the leaf.

I got around to looking it up.
US release is 4th quarter of this year:

The Audi A3 Sportback PHEV is to follow in early 2015

So both the Leaf and the Volt will have real competition at last, although the A3 is likely to be more expensive.

The Mitsubishi Outlander is planned as a 2016 model year car with a new body as they struggle to meet demand in the countries they are currently supplying:

Apparently the SF Bay Area is now up to 10% of new vehicle registrations are plug-ins.