Norwegians are taking to electric vehicles like Germans take to David Hasselhoff and Iraqis take to Lionel Richie. Whatever the reason, we won't complain about the results.
The Nissan Leaf was Norway's best-selling car in October, the month after the Tesla Model S held the same title, Reuters says. Nissan sold 716 Leafs in Norway last month, which may not sound like a lot, but it's huge on a per capita basis. Since the US population is about 60 times the size of Norway's, 716 would be roughly the equivalent of 120,000 Leaf's sold in the US in a month. How many were actually sold here? 2,002 in October.
Not only did Nissan beat out the perennially popular Toyota Auris and Volkswagen Golf in the process, but it also supplanted Tesla, which moved 616 Model S sedans in Norway in September. That number plunged to 98 last month, due to fulfillment of what had been an extensive backlog of orders before shipments began.
Nissan sold 600 Leafs in Norway during the first three days the car was available in the fall of 2011. That's not completely surprising, given that, in an odd twist, Norway's extensive oil production funds a government pension fund that subsidizes EVs. Between tax breaks, charging infrastructure, free parking and other goodies, each EV is said to garner more than $8,000 a year worth of subsidies in Norway. Now that that mystery's solved, let's move on to the Hoff. And, Lionel, of course.