OSLO: According to statistics released on Tuesday by an industry association, Norway has been the first country in the world where electric vehicles register for more than half of new registrations.
According to Opplysningsradet for Veitrafikken (OFV, “Information Council for Road Traffic”), despite the Covid-19 pandemic halting the arrival of some new models, electric cars accounted for 54.3 percent of the new car industry last year, up from 42.4 percent a year earlier.
Electric car sales in Norway set a monthly high in December, accounting for 66.7 percent of new sales, boosted by the introduction of new models, OFV said.
“This is an extremely positive trend,” said Christina Bu, General Secretary of the Electric Car Association of Norway.
Bu, who said Norway was the first nation to cross the overall 50 percent barrier, added that the country is “almost on track to meet the 2025 targets.” By that year, the Nordic region, unsurprisingly the largest oil producer in Western Europe, plans to make all new vehicles “zero emission,” meaning powered by electricity or hydrogen.
When it comes to paving the way for hybrid vehicles, Norway has moved ahead of the rest of Europe by instituting strong subsidies.
Clean vehicles are practically tax-free in the region, unlike diesel or petrol cars, making their rates even more affordable, even though other advantages have been scaled back, such as being excluded from tolls and being allowed to use lanes reserved for public transport.