Norway continues to lead the way in the uptake of electric vehicles, with new data showing that the Scandinavian country has now recorded it’s best ever month in September.
Of 10,620 new passenger vehicles registered in Norway, nearly half were electric, according to the Norwegian Road Traffic Advisory Council (OFV).
“The car market in September was particularly special, new Norway records and a new world record were introduced for the sale of electric cars,” says Øyvind Solberg Thorsen, director of the OFV.
For the first time in modern history, electric cars stood for almost half of passenger car sales for a month.
New electric cars had a market share of 45.3 per cent, and including imports of almost new electric cars, the proportion was 47.7 per cent.
“Such an increase in electric car sales caused a record low CO2 emissions of 55 g / km. Although we in Norway are accustomed to average CO2 emissions falling from month to month, this is the lowest level we have ever measured,” says Solberg Thorsen.
One of the reasons behind the record-breaking month is the introduction of stricter methods of measuring fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
“The new measurement method means higher consumption and CO2 emissions and therefore entails that taxes increase on most passenger cars with internal combustion engines, including rechargeable hybrids,” he says.
Comparing CO2 emissions levels from the previous year, average emissions for all first-time registered new passenger cars in September 2018 came in at 55g/km, a full 16g/km lower than September 2017.
Of the 10,620 passenger cars sold, 4810 new passenger cars were registered with zero emissions, 954 more than 12 months previous when the market share was 28.6 per cent.
Only eight of the new registered passenger cars in September were hydrogen cars, the rest were battery electric cars.
While all-electric and hydrogen vehicles registrations increased, hybrids dropped, with a 34.4% decrease.
Norway has maintained a strong reputation as a leader in electrified vehicle sales for several years, becoming the first market to reach a 1% PHEV market share as far back as 2011.
All-electric vehicle sales were at a high in 2014 but dropped to below 60% of electrified vehicle sales after higher tax savings were introduced for PHEVs.
A slow recovery in BEV market share was expected by analysts after sales began dropping in 2015, but it seems this recovery is outdoing expectations.
Interest in all-electric sales by Norwegians is certainly on the rise, backed up by reports from carmakers such as South Korean Hyundai that they were not able to meet demand.
When Hyundai announced pricing for its Kona electric CUV in June 2018, they subsequently reported 20,000 orders being taken—7,000 in one two week period—resulting in the carmaker having to close its order books.
Norway could have a serious competitor in the Scandinavian EV sales stakes now, with Denmark announcing a plan to go all electric by 2030.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.