Norway’s electric car market is powering ahead, with most new cars registered in September either fully electric or hybrids.
Electric cars accounted for 61.5% of the 15,552 cars registered that month in the country. When hybrids are included, the total jumps up to 89%.
The new Volkswagen ID.3 was the bestselling car, with 12.8% of sales, followed by the Tesla Model 3 and the Polestar 2.
Globally, too, we could be on track for an electric car breakthrough as battery technology gets less expensive. The cost of a lithium-ion battery pack for an electric car fell 87% from 2010 to 2019, according to research by BloombergNEF.
In the US, by contrast, only 2% of new car registrations are electric.
So why is Norway leading the world while the US, a major producer of electric vehicles, straggles far behind? Are Norwegians just a lot more environmentally conscious?
Well, not exactly. Norway currently has big tax incentives for buying an electric car as opposed to an internal combustion one. Those incentives are set to be pared back this year, but will still provide a tax advantage for electrics. US tax incentives are less generous, which is one major factor behind slower adoption.
Another factor: gas costs the equivalent of about $8 a gallon in Norway, compared to about $2.75 in my neighborhood in New Jersey.
High gas prices and huge tax incentives mean that Norwegians don’t have to be environmentalists to choose an electric car. They just have to be frugal.
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Photo: “IMG46347-2” by odd.bakken is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0