Norway achieved a world first in 2020 when it became the first country in which more than half of all cars sold were battery-powered.
In 2019, battery electric vehicles (BEVs) comprised 42.4% of all new cars sold in the Nordic country. That number jumped to 54.3% last year. In December, BEV sales owned a 66.7% share of the car market.
The results are encouraging for a country aiming to end the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2025. “We’re definitely on track to reach the 2025 target,” said ØyvindThorsen, Chief Executive of the Norwegian Road Federation.
Norway, a country which produces oil, exempts electric vehicles from taxes imposed on those generating fossil fuels. It’s a rare example of a country putting the environment before the economy. Norway’s economy, meanwhile, is doing just fine.
And the future is only looking greener. “Our preliminary forecast is for electric cars to surpass 65% of the market in 2021,” said Christina Bu, who leads the Norwegian EV Association.
Volkswagen’s Audi brand was the most popular electric carmarker in Norway last year. In 2019, it was Tesla. Next year, it could be anyone as the first electric SUVs from Ford, BMW and Volkswagen hit the market. Also arriving is Tesla’s mid-size SUV, the Model Y.
Amazingly, diesel-only vehicles captured just 8.6% of the market last year. In 2011, that number peaked at 75.7%.
Numbers for EV sales in Canada are not yet available for 2020, though early results are not promising. In the first half of 2020, zero-emission vehicles held a market share of 3.3 per cent.