«The most popular passenger cars in Norway in 2017 were, quite astonishingly, battery electric vehicles (BEV). After breaking several registration records last year, we are setting ever higher goals.»

During the full year battery electric vehicles (BEV) reached a market share of 20.8 percent, while plug-in hybrids (PHEV) accounted for 18.4, according to the Norwegian Road Federation´s statistics.

«This means 4 out of 10 new cars in Norway are able to run on renewable energy. The increase was significant; from 3 out of 10 in 2016,» says Secretary General of the Norwegian EV Association, Christina Bu.

December was a record breaking month: Market share of plug-in passenger cars (BEV and PHEV) reached 50 percent for the first time. BEVs accounted for 27.5 percent, while PHEVs took care of roughly 22.5.

«As far as we know, this is an undisputable world record.»

The association (NGO) is also the largest of its kind worldwide, organizing some 50,000 owners and supporters of zero emission vehicles.

Six BEVs in top 20!

Our overview of the 20 most popular passenger cars in Norway (see chart below), clearly shows the BEV domination, with Volkswagen e-Golf and BMW i3 as beacons (first and second). Tesla Model X was just behind.

«Six of the cars in top 20 were electric. Not least important: Only six were not available as BEV or PHEV.»

An example: After the range upgrade in spring 2017, the Volkswagen e-Golf continued outnumbering all other available drivetrains:

54.6 percent of all Golf units were BEV. Including PHEV versions, a total of 75 percent had a plug.

Our 2017 prediction was a home run

The bold prediction of Norsk elbilforening (Norwegian EV Association) is somewhere between 50,000 and 55,000 new BEVs in 2018.

This prediction follows last year´s record breaking total of 41,638 new BEV registrations (including 8,558 imported second hand BEVs).

Roughly 12,000 more units were registered compared to 2016.

«Our optimistic prediction for 2017 was 40,000. So we can say it was a pretty accurate tip», says Secretary General Christina Bu.

Potential was even bigger

Even though a BEV market share of 20.8 percent is an unprecedented level in other countries, Norway could have reached even higher in 2017.

«If the long waiting time for pre-ordered BEVs had been avoided, many more would have been registered last year. This is a bottleneck, as market demand is ever growing», says Bu.

At the moment there are more than 140,000 BEVs on Norwegian roads.

When PHEVs are added, the number of electric cars surpasses 200,000.

During 2018 all numbers are expected to increase

The main reason for continued growth is the arrival of fresh BEV models like Nissan LEAF (second generation), Hyundai Kona, Tesla Model 3, Jaguar i-PACE, Audi e-tron quattro and possibly Kia Niro Electric.

«None of the new models will be in sale during the full year, but will still contribute significantly to the overall numbers. Existing BEV models also have strong market demand.»

With more than 140,000 BEVs now on Norwegian roads at present time, we´re aiming for 400,000 by 2020.

«This growth needs to happen at a fast pace, as the Norwegian Parliament has set a goal of only zero emission vehicles (ZEV) to be registered in 2025.»

Background: Increasing BEV market shares

2017: 20.8 percent (33.025 new)
2016: 15.7 percent (24.222 new)
2015: 17.1 percent (25.779 new)
2014: 12.5 percent (18.090 new)
2013: 5.5 percent (7.882 new)

The statistics from the Norwegian Road Federation also show that average emissions (CO2/km) from new passenger cars have been reduced to 82 grams (down from 93 in 2016, 100 in 2015 and 110 in 2014). The main reason is the ever increasing share of BEVs.