Norway has broken through another electric vehicle market milestone, passing the 60 per cent market share in September auto sales.
The latest data shows full battery electric vehicles accounting for 61.5 per cent of all new car sales in the latest month, and topping the electric vehicle sales charts for September is newcomer Volkswagen ID.3, which outdid the Tesla Model 3 and the Polestar, with 1,974 units sold.
Notably, the three top selling models in the broader Norwegian new car market were all-electric, with 1,116 Model 3 and 928 Polestar 2 units sold according to Elbil Statisikk.
Tesla’s Model 3 sales figures signalled a return to pre-Covid sales, knocking the previous favourite – the Audi e-tron – down to number five and the Mercedes EQS out of the top 10 entirely.
Volkswagen ID.3 sells in Norway for NOK 350,000 ($A52,340 converted) for the base model, or NOK 400,000 ($A59,820 converted) for the first edition “Plus” option, and was released on the Norwegian market on August 28.
With a 62 kilowatt hour battery it offers 420km driving range (WLTP). Volkswagen says it will also offer an 82 kilowatt hour battery down the track which would be rated for 550km driving range (WLTP) from 2021.
The Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association notes this impressive result from Volkswagen was not entirely unexpected – as with the arrival of the Tesla Model 3 in 2019 pre-orders resulted in the exceptional initial sales numbers for the ID.3.
“This is historic. The electric car policy now works so well that six out of ten customers choose an electric car when they buy a new car. We are now approaching that electric cars will be for everyone,” said Christina Bu, secretary general of the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association (translated from Norwegian) in a statement.
The ID.3, of course, is not Volkswagen’s first electric car that has had success in Norway. The Volkswagen e-Golf is a long-term favourite, and is the second most common car on the Norwegian roads after the Nissan Leaf – in fact fact there almost 50,000 of them on Norwegian roads.
“It is fun that the newcomer ID.3 tops new car sales, and it will be exciting to see if this will be Volkswagen’s new passenger car,” says Bu.
While the Audi e-tron’s sales dipped sharply it was not enough to knock it off the top of the 2020 total sales chart. The Audi e-tron is now also available in Australia and you can check out our review of it here.
Bu says although electric vehicle sales are still on the increase despite the Covid-19 pandemic and falling combustion engine sales, this should not be an indicator that policies and incentives that encourage adoption should be watered down.
“Therefore, it is important that politicians continue to protect the benefits, and not spread uncertainty about VAT exemption and environmental discount in the barrier. Predictability is important for the electric car benefits to continue to work,” says Christina Bu.
The ID.3 will be followed by the ID.4 electronic crossover which was premiered at the end of September and is built on the same platform as the ID 3 in addition to having the same length wheelbase and battery options. It will be available in Norway by the end of 2020.
Volkswagen says that while the first release of the ID.4 will be a rear-wheel drive variant it will also offer an all-wheel drive, dual-motor version from 2021.
The ID.4 is expected to be the first electric car from Volkswagen’s new all-electric ID series tio be made available in Australia, although the German car maker has not clarified if it will be the rear-wheel drive, or the all-wheel-drive version, or both, that will make it here.
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 since 2018. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.
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