Plug-in electric vehicles appear to be more important to Norwegians than they are to people anywhere else in the world. While the actual EV sales numbers lag far behind markets like the United States, the per capita comparison is surprising. In the Scandinavian country last month, about 12 percent of all new vehicle sales were made up of electric vehicles.
In November, 12,079 new vehicle registrations were transacted, and 1,434 of them were EVs. That's the highest level yet reached in the country, which has gotten attention for a few months now for its EV sales. November saw a big gain even over the headline-worthy EV market shares of 8.6 percent in September and 7.2 percent in October.
EVs have stayed under one percent of new vehicle sales in the US. Hybrids are another story, as California has seen the Toyota Prius reach the number one spot in new vehicles sales (that includes all four variants). Still, overall, hybrid model sales in California have not exceeded seven percent of the total. Hybrids accounted for 8.9 percent of new vehicle sales in Norway last month.
The Tesla Model S and Nissan Leaf have been battling for top sales in the Norwegian market. In September, the Model S was Norway's top-selling car with 616 units sold. Deploying a network of Superchargers in the country only makes the car all the more appealing there. In October, the Leaf sold 716 units, beating the Volkswagen Golf (the e-Golf isn't yet on sale there and the plug-in hybrid version is coming next year). In November, the Golf took first place overall with 666 units sold; the Model S was second with 527 sales and the Leaf dropped down to fifth place at 512 units.
EVs and hybrids are given governmental support because they help reduce Norway's CO2 output. EVs are also popular there because of a comprehensive recharging infrastructure and attractive tax incentives that include avoiding the typical heavy taxes applied to internal combustion engine vehicles in that country and access to bus lanes in busy cities like Oslo. All of this seems to be paying off for EV market share in Norway.