Norwegian electric fleet set to surpass gasoline this year

The fuel mix of Norway’s national fleet is nearing a watershed moment. The share of electric cars is poised to eclipse gasoline cars by the end of the year. As a result, fossil fuel sales are also declining.

Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are on the verge of outnumbering petrol cars in Norway, signaling a potentially historic shift not witnessed before in any country in the world. Norway’s Public Roads Administration released the statistics, which were published by news agency Reuters.

Before the year’s end

BEVs represent 24.3% of the 2.9 million cars in Norway, closely trailing the 26.9% share of gasoline vehicles. The gap is narrowing rapidly, with the latest figures indicating a lead of just under 76,000 petrol cars, a significant decrease from the previous year.

If the trend prevails – and there’s little pointing in the opposite direction – the shift to more BEVs than petrol cars on Norwegian roads could occur before the year’s end (or early 2025), given the dwindling sales of pure petrol vehicles.

However, overtaking the number of diesel vehicles, representing more than one million units, will require decidedly more time. Estimates suggest a three to four-year timeline. The reduction in BEV sales last year, partly due to decreased overall car sales and scaled-back government incentives, has not dampened the long-term outlook but put a mild brake on the acceleration.

Despite the adjustments in tax benefits, which saw the removal of the value-added tax exemption for higher-priced BEVs, the Norwegian government’s commitment to promoting electric vehicles remains robust, with significant financial outlays to sustain the transition. BEVs still achieved a record 90.2% of total new car sales (up from 84.5% YoY) during the year’s first quarter, as figures from the Norwegian Road Federation (OFV) revealed.

Tumbling sales of PHEVs

The broader impact of Norway’s electric vehicle surge is palpable in the declining demand for petrol and diesel, although the fossil fuel market remains substantial. According to data from Statistics Norway, the demand for gasoline and diesel has fallen by 8% over three years, excluding diesel sales for trucks.

Rising sales of (plug-in) hybrids, which account for 12% of the national market, dampen the effect, with a significant collapse for fossil fuels still expected. After the government dropped support for PHEVs, their share in Norway’s monthly sales has fallen from 8% to 2%.

The Nordic nation aims to phase out new petrol and diesel car sales by 2025, a move ironically supported by its substantial oil and gas revenues, which have enabled the provision of attractive incentives for electric vehicle adoption.


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