OSLO: Norway has become the first country in the world where electric cars account for more than half of new registrations, according to figures published on Tuesday by an industry group.
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic delaying the release of several new models, electric vehicles accounted for 54.3 percent of the new car market last year, up from 42.4 percent a year earlier, according to Opplysningsradet for Veitrafikken (OFV, “Information Council for Road Traffic”).
In December, electric car sales set a monthly record in Norway accounting for 66.7 percent of new sales, the numbers boosted by the arrival of new models, OFV said.
“This is an extremely positive trend”, Christina Bu, secretary general of the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association, said.
Bu, who said that Norway was the first country to break the overall 50 percent threshold, added that the country is “almost on track to meet the 2025 targets.” The Nordic country, which is ironically the largest producer of oil in Western Europe, aims to have all new cars being “zero emission” — meaning electric or hydrogen powered — by that year.
Norway has pushed ahead of the rest of Europe when it comes to paving the way for electric cars, by instituting heavy subsidies.
Unlike diesel or petrol cars, clean cars are virtually tax-free in the country, making their prices much more competitive, even if other benefits — such as being exempt from tolls and being able to use lanes reserved for public transport — have been cut back.