By the end of 2013, there were approximately 18,000 electric vehicles on the road in Norway. According to Norges Automobil-Forbund (NAF), sales of electric vehicles (EVs) will continue to increase in 2014.
The rise of electric cars has been notable in Norway, where, in 2012, the number of EVs sold reached 3,950. In 2013, that number increased to 7,700 and, for 2014, sales are expected to reach 15-16,000.
A strong driver of these sales is the EV’s benefit from no taxation, as well as a number of other privileges: free access to bus lanes, free parking and charging, no road tolls, among others.
In 2013, the Nissan Leaf was the best-selling EV with 4,491 vehicles sold. It also became the best seller of all vehicles nation-wide in September. Tesla’s Model S is strong in second place with 1,815 cars sold.
In 2014, it is expected that the VW e-UP and BMW will give Nissan and Tesla a real challenge. 900 VW e-Up vehicles have already been contracted and they intend to sell 4,000 this year. Additionally, Renault, Mitsubishi and Ford all have ambitions to enter the market with their EV models.
The popular incentives and exceptions from taxes and VAT, have a governmental “amnesty” until 2017, or until the number of EVs on the road reaches 50,000. If the sales increase at the same pace as in 2013, 50,000 vehicles is likely to be reached as early as 2015. The issue has become a political hot potato, in particular because the bus drivers and their passengers, are fed up with the EVs (mis)using the bus lanes.
There is absolutely no doubt that the financial incentives contribute to the dramatic increase in sales of electric cars in Norway. However, they will not last forever. Once these incentives are removed the future sales of EVs remains uncertain.