EVs Made Up Nearly Two-Thirds of All New Car Sales in Norway Last Year

In just three years, Norway will ban the sale of new gas and diesel cars altogether.

byHazel Southwell|
Electric Vehicles photo

Electric vehicle sales are booming worldwide but nowhere's going in on them as hard as Norway. Tesla delivered a record number of EVs in 2021 and also became the number one car brand there, taking 11.6 percent of the market, shoving Volkswagen off the top spot after 11 years of dominance. In all, this contributed to nearly two-thirds of new car sales in Norway being accounted for by EVs.

Norway is relatively small in the global car market; 65 percent of 176,276 cars sold there in 2021 is obviously nowhere near the numbers that you'd see in, say, Germany or the U.S. But 114,580 electric vehicles being bought up is still a pretty substantial number, and over 20,000 of them were Teslas.

It also shows that EVs are steadily increasing their share, having accounted for 54 percent of sales in Norway the year prior. Just three years ago, we were reporting that nearly one third of cars sold there in 2018 were electric and they've now seized another 33 percent of overall sales. 

There are some good reasons for that, of course. Firstly, Norway's a pretty affluent country, so people can afford to buy EVs. The most typical salary there is $77,000 a year, which really opens up your options for vehicle purchasing. Then you've gotta factor in that the government also makes EV purchases exempt from the 25 percent VAT before sweetening the deal further with discounts on toll roads, ferries, and parking. 

Then there's the fact that the government is completely banning the sale of gas and diesel passenger cars from 2025, which is now really soon. Norway will be the first country to do it, with Belgium following in a partial, area-specific ban from 2026, while most countries are aiming for 2030 or 2035. So just three years from now, this isn't going to be a news story because, well, 100 percent of new cars sold there will be electric by default.

What makes it kinda funny, maybe, is that the reason Norway is so rich is because it's an oil state. Frigid Scandinavia might not quite fit your imagination of what one of those looks like, but the oil and gas sector contributed 18 percent of Norway's entire national income in 2018.

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