Electric in Norway

The Norwegian government set in place incentives to get 50,000 electric vehicles (EVs) sold in the Scandinavian country by 2017.

The Norwegian government set in place incentives to get 50,000 electric vehicles (EVs) sold in the Scandinavian country by 2017.

Turns out that either the cars are so appealing or the incentives are that the 50K mark was achieved in April of this year.

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Volkswagen e-Golf: Most popular model in Norway during Q1 2015

And according to the just-released IHS Automotive Plug-in Electric Vehicle Index, Norwegians are continuing to buy EVs like Røkt laks.

During the first quarter of 2015, there were 8,112 new EVs and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) registered in Norway. While that is not the greatest number overall—the U.S. has that distinction, with 14,832 EV/PHEVs registered in Q1—but Norway, by far, has the greatest number of EV/PHEV registrations as a percentage of total vehicle registrations.

Specifically, 33.1% of all cars registered in Norway in Q1 2015 were EV/PHEVs.

In the U.S., the share is just 0.8%, according to the IHS Automotive figures.

So what do the Norwegians get? A variety of advantages, including reduced taxes (purchase, VAT), no road license fee, free parking, bus lane use, etc.

Even though the 50,000 mark has been achieved, the incentives will remain in place until 2018, at which time they will begin to be phased out.

One interesting aspect of the U.S. registration number: although it was the biggest in Q1 2015 compared to the other countries measured, from the standpoint of comparing it to a year-over-year change (i.e., compared with Q1 2014), it shows the lowest growth, at just 0.2%.

In China, that same year-over-year change is up 744.9%, 392.3% in the U.K., and 101.3% in France.

Of course, the 0.2% change is better than what’s going on in Japan: it is down 19.5%.

IHS analysts speculate that the Japanese number may be affected by greater interest in hybrids without a plug.