Norway becomes first country where EVs outsell combustion cars

Norway has become the first country in the world where the majority of new car sales are pure-electric cars, spurred on largely by demand for Volkswagen Group EVs.

In 2020, 54.3% of all new cars sold in Norway were fully electric, up from 42.1% in 2019. This marks the first time such cars have comprised more than 50% of new car sales in a country across a full year.

Norway’s EV sales now make up more than 10% of Europe’s as a whole, where just 4% of new cars are fully electric. For comparison, the Nordic country claims a similar advantage over the UK, where EVs comprise just 6.6% of new cars currently.

A key driver of Norway’s EV uptake has been demand for new-for-2020 Volkswagen Group EVs, of which Audi’s E-tron and E-tron Sportback models were the most popular. Overall, EVs accounted for 76,789 of 141,412 new cars in 2020, with Audi’s SUV making up 9227, more than a tenth of all new EVs sold.

Volkswagen’s ID 3 electric hatchback was the third most popular car, with 7754 units sold, despite only being launched in September, just below the Tesla Model 3 (7770 sales) and above the Nissan Leaf (5221 sales).

The rapidly increasing popularity of EVs in Norway comes courtesy of the country’s generous tax breaks for zero-emission cars, imposed as part of a goal of becoming the first country to end the sales of combustion-engined cars by 2025.

The CEO of the Norwegian Road Federation (OFV), Oeyvind Thorsen, told a news conference that Norway is “definitely on track to reach the 2025 target”.

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