Norway has been leading the world in terms of electric vehicle usage for some time now, and last year, EV sales overtook internal combustion engine vehicles for the first time. According to data sourced by Reuters from the Norwegian Road Federation (OFV), of the 141,412 vehicles sold last year, 76,789 were battery electric vehicles, amounting to a market share of 54.3%. Meanwhile, the remaining 45.7% consisted of plug-in hybrid, hybrid, petrol and diesel vehicles.

The latest result, which is also a new global record, beats 2019’s figure of 42.4% and is a significant improvement from 1% a decade ago, said OFV. The numbers reflect the local government’s push to increase BEV uptake, as such vehicles are exempted from taxes imposed on those that use fossil fuels. Norway is also aiming to end the sale of petrol- and diesel-powered cars by 2025.

It should also be noted that in December 2020, sales of BEVs hit the highest level for any single month, with a 66.7% share of the new car market in that month. Industry analysts expect this trend to continue throughout 2021, as more models are introduced to the market.

“Our preliminary forecast is for electric cars to surpass 65% of the market in 2021,” said Christina Bu who heads the Norwegian EV Association. “If we manage that, the goal of selling only zero-emission cars in 2025 will be within reach,” she added.

Diesel cars, which are typically popular among European customers, saw a massive decline in sales in Norway from a 75.7% market share in 2011, down to just 8.6% in 2020. The same can be said of petrol and hybrid vehicles, with market shares of around 8% and 9% respectively, although plug-in hybrids have grown in popularity there, commanding 20% of the market in 2020.