Electric cars hit 65% of sales in Norway as Tesla takes the overall position

  • Tesla’s best-selling brand ahead of Volkswagen in 2021
  • Tesla’s Model 3 most popular model overall
  • BEVs are expected to take 75-80% of the Norwegian market in 2022

OSLO, January 3 (Reuters) – Electric cars accounted for almost two thirds of Norway’s new sales in 2021, with Tesla the best-selling car brand overall, as the country pursues the goal of being the first to end sales of petrol and diesel cars.

While Norway, with a population of 5.4 million, has the world’s highest share of electric cars, China with its 1.4 billion people is by far the largest car market.

Oil-producing Norway has encouraged the transition to zero-emission cars by exempting battery-electric vehicles (BEV) from taxes on internal combustion engines (ICE).

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This tax relief is expected to help increase the share of total electric sales as high as 80% in 2022, ahead of a deadline to end sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2025.

In total, new sales in Norway increased by 25% in 2021 to a record 176,276 cars, of which 65% were fully electric. This market share was up from 54% in 2020.

While the small, prosperous Norway is seen as a key market to gain a foothold for new BEV players, including China’s Nine and Swedish Volvo Cars (VOLCARb.ST) affiliated Polestar.

Tesla (TSLA.O) had a share of 11.6% of Norway’s total car market in 2021, making it the number one brand for the first time on a year-round basis ahead of Germany’s Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) with 9.6%, the Norwegian . This was stated by the Norwegian Road Association (NRF) on Monday.

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The American carmaker reported on Sunday that quarterly deliveries far exceeded Wall Street estimates, and got rid of global chip shortages as increased production in China, which lifted shares to a one-month high on Monday. read more

The Tesla Model 3 was the most popular single model of the year in Norway ahead of Toyota’s (7203.T) hybrid RAV4, the only car among the top 10 with internal combustion engine, and Volkswagen’s (VOWG_p.DE) electric ID. 4 in third place.

Industry representatives said that they expect sales of electric cars to grow to as much as 80% of the total market in Norway in 2022, although supply chain problems may put the brakes on this.

“We believe we will exceed 80% of electric cars next year,” said Christina Bu, who heads the Norwegian EV Association.

“But there is great uncertainty in that forecast, and it depends on the shipping risk – many car manufacturers have delivery problems,” she added.

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“Norway is the country with the greatest openness to electric cars, the greatest understanding of what it is to drive an electric car and the most inviting to have an alternative,” Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath told Reuters.

Polestar’s luxury sedan was the 10th most popular car model in Norway in 2021, and it will debut its Polestar 3 SUV in 2022.

“Launching this premium SUV … will definitely change the way people will perceive Polestar, so I have really high expectations for moving the brand forward,” said Ingenlath.

Chinese electric car manufacturers have been looking to increase exports in line with Beijing’s ambition to build a world-class car industry and compete with traditional car companies. read more

Nio launched lavish showrooms in central Oslo in 2021, the first abroad, with the aim of selling its ES8 sports cars and ET7 sedans as part of plans to expand globally.

It also plans charging and battery replacement stations.

“Our switching station strategy we will expand quite sharply (in 2022),” said Marius Hayler, head of Nio Norway, adding that he expects around 75% of total car sales to be electric in 2022.

While tax exemptions contribute to cutting greenhouse gas emissions, they cost the state NOK 30 billion ($ 3.41 billion) in lost revenue last year, the Ministry of Finance’s estimates show.

So the ruling center-left coalition plans to gradually start taxing the most expensive BEV cars from 2023, while taxes on petrol, diesel and hybrids increase this year. read more

($ 1 = 8.8088 Norwegian kroner)

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Editing by Terje Solsvik and Alexander Smith

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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