Norway has just become the first country anywhere in the world where sales of EVs have overtaken those of petrol- and diesel-powered cars. Data from the Norwegian Road Federation (OFV) says that in 2020, 54.3 per cent of new cars sold in the country were powered solely by electricity. That’s up from 42.4 percent in 2019 and just ONE percent ten years ago. Meanwhile in the UK last year, 6.6 per cent of new cars sold were EVs, up from 1.6 percent in 2019.
How’d that happen? Well, Norway goes much, much further than the likes of Britain with its tax breaks and other incentives. In Norway, you pay no VAT when you buy an EV, nor annual road tax. You can drive in bus lanes and pay no more than 50 per cent of the going rate for parking, tolls and ferries. Plus public charging infrastructure is rather good. The result is EVs are actually cheaper to buy (not to mention run) than ‘normal’ cars.
Norway wants to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in 2025 – after this latest news, Øyvind Thorsen, CEO of the OFV, says the country is “definitely on track”. The best-selling EV in Norway in 2019 was the Tesla Model 3. No surprises there. But in 2020 it was beaten to the top spot by… the Audi e-tron SUV. The VW ID.3 was third most popular, even though it’s only been on sale a few months.