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Norwegians buy more e-cars than burners

For the first time, the Norwegians are relying more on electric cars than on combustion engines – 54.3 percent of all cars sold were recently electric vehicles. The Scandinavians are pulling away from the rest of Europe. But German car manufacturers are also benefiting from the boom. There are several reasons for this.

Last year, for the first time, more electric cars were sold in Norway than vehicles with gasoline, diesel or hybrid engines. In 2020, electric vehicles made up 54.3 percent of all new cars sold in the country – a world record, as the Norwegian Road Transport Association announced on Tuesday.

In the previous year, the E share in new registrations was 42.4 percent. Most popular were electric models from the Volkswagen Group, which outperformed its US rival Tesla.

Norway has been promoting the sale of e-cars for a long time and has set itself the goal of no longer allowing combustion engines from 2025. “Our preliminary forecast is that electric cars will reach a market share of 65 percent in 2021,” said Christina Bu of the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association, an e-mobility lobby group. “If we can do that, the goal of only selling zero-emission cars by 2025 will be within reach.”

Despite incentives: charging infrastructure worse than in Germany

Last year around 141,000 new cars hit the roads in Norway, around 76,800 of which were fully electric. Norway grants electric car owners many advantages among its five million inhabitants – such as the waiver of import duties and taxes on cars. In addition, electric car owners do not pay tolls on motorways and can use the bus lanes in cities. There are largely no fees for parking in public parking lots for Stromer. The reason for the breakthrough of e-mobility in the northern European country is therefore a whole range of measures.

Germany is also trying to promote e-mobility with a package of measures. In addition to the extended purchase bonus, the so-called “charging infrastructure master plan” is intended to create the right framework conditions. The goal of politics is to create one million charging stations in Germany by 2030. An ambitious approach – there are currently only 21,100 charging stations available to electric car owners in this country.

50,000 new charging stations for e-cars by 2022

The car manufacturers themselves are also investing in new charging points to make buying an electric car more attractive. Only at the end of last year did Volkswagen announce that it would build 750 new charging stations in 2021. According to the “Master Plan Charging Infrastructure”, the automotive industry should contribute 15,000 public charging points over the next two years, while the federal government wants to create 50,000 charging places. “If you can’t charge your e-car, you won’t buy one,” writes the federal government on its website.

But are charging stations alone really the key to success? The example of Norway shows: not necessarily. The consulting firm Berylls points out that arithmetically around nine electric cars have to share a charging station in Germany, while there are 23 in Norway.

“The network of public charging points is obviously not only thinner than in Germany, but also much more busy,” says Berylls car expert Andreas Radics. “And although there are now waiting times at the charging stations, the e-car boom in Norway continues.”

More and more e-models on the market

The sales of battery-powered cars accelerated in the last few months of the past year and, according to the Norwegian Road Transport Association, reached the highest level in a single month in December of 66.7 percent.

In 2020, VW subsidiary Audi headed the list of best-selling e-cars in Norway with its e-tron models. Tesla, still ahead in 2019 with the compact Model 3, landed in second place. This year, the US electric car manufacturer wants to bring the SUV model Y onto the market. The first electric SUVs are also being launched from Ford, BMW and Volkswagen.

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