Robbie Andrew, CICERO
Norway EV sales and related data
New vehicle sales (OFV)
These data have been collated from ofv.no. The full, constantly updated (and enormous) dataset of vehicle registrations is available from the Digitaliseringsdirektoratet.
Monthly data on breakdown of engine types of new vehicle sales in Norway: Excel data file
Deliveries to Norway of Teslas occur every third month, leading to very spikey sales statistics. Smoothing over three months gives a clearer picture of the trend.
Note that the headline data from OFV used here include hydrogen vehicles in with BEVs: the number of hydrogen vehicles is very small, with an all-time high of 14 in December 2017.
For statistics on the car fleet, see elbil.no's website
For daily stats on EV sales by model, see elbilstatistikk.no
For some insight into how EV incentives received an early boost in Norway, see this Twitter thread.
Electric vehicle incentives in Norway
(The following information is extracted verbatim from Fridstrøm & Østli, 2021)
As of 2021 in Norway, there are a dozen different taxes, subsidies and regulations with a bearing on automobile technology choice and climate footprint:
- VAT, with exemptions for zero exhaust emission vehicles (ZEVs), i.e. battery and fuel cell electric cars (BEVs, FCEVs)
- One-off registration tax, calculated as the sum of three variable components, based on curb weight, CO2 and NOX emissions, with ZEVs totally exempt and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) subject to a reduced weight component
- Annual ownership (circulation) tax, with lower rates for ZEVs
- Fuel tax, calculated as the sum of a CO2 component and a road use component
- Road toll, with ZEVs exempt or enjoying at least 50 percent discount
- Reregistration tax on used vehicle transactions, with ZEVs exempt
- Ferry fares, differentiated between ZEVs and internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles
- Parking fees, likewise differentiated
- Income tax on private use of company cars, likewise differentiated
- Government support for fast charging and hydrogen refueling facilities
- Free parking and recharging for BEVs in public parking lots
- Bus lanes open to ZEVs, with some exceptions
Distance travelled (Source: SSB)
It's one thing to have a high fraction of EVs in sales of new cars, but how much are those cars displacing travel in cars with internal combustion engines? Distance travelled statistics go some way to answering that question. Note, for example, that the average EV is driven further each year than the average pure-petrol car.
Road transport's energy consumption
While the car fleet's emissions change gradually as the fleet becomes more electric, changes in the share of biofuel in the market can have more immediate effects.
In many countries biofuels are subsidised to make them more competitive with fossil fuels. In Norway this takes the form of exemption from the CO2 tax that fossil fuels face as well as a requirement that biofuels meet a specific share of fuels sold for road transport.
Note that here 'biofuels' refers to liquid bioenergy used as transport fuel (e.g. biodiesel), while 'bioenergy' includes all energy carriers from biological sources. Palm oil residues were reclassified from 'waste' to 'byproduct' from 1 January 2017, and diesel made directly from palm oil was effectively banned from 1 January 2020.
Selected reports and studies
Slow, fast or extra fast: Exploring decarbonization pathways for road transportation in Norway (2021)
Lasse Fridstrøm and Vegard Østli, TØI Report 1846/2021 (in Norwegian)
Relying on a stock-flow projection model of the Norwegian motor vehicle fleet, we explore certain pathways for decarbonization of domestic road transportation. In our most optimistic scenario, CO2 emissions on the road will come down by 36 percent between 2005 and 2030, before taking account of biofuel use. To achieve a 50 per cent reduction, a biofuel blend-in of 27 percent in 2030 will suffice. The most pessimistic scenario suggests a mere 20 percent emissions cut between 2005 and 2030. In this case, to halve emissions, the biofuel blend-in would have to increase to 47 percent in 2030. A most important incentive is the exemption from value added tax (VAT) for battery electric vehicles (BEVs). Reintroducing VAT on BEVs will reduce their sales by an estimated 30 to 40 percent in 2030.
Who goes electric? Characteristics of electric car ownership in Norway 2011-2017 (2020)
Elisabeth Fevang et al., TØI Report 1780/2020 (in English)
This report characterizes owners of electric vehicles and other passenger cars in Norway based on data from matched administrative registers containing persons and households covering the period 2011-2017. This is the first time such data has been used in a research project on electric vehicles and policies to stimulate purchase and ownership of electric vehicles. We find that electric vehicle owners are more likely to be families with children, live in central areas and have high income and higher education compared to other car owners. Those who face road tolls on their commute to work are also more likely to have an electric vehicle. Over time, owners of electric vehicles have become more similar to other vehicle owners. Those who buy an electric vehicle are more likely than other car buyers to keep their old car, but also this difference has decreased over time.
Reforming Motor Vehicle Taxation in Norway (2019)
Lasse Fridstrøm, TØI Report 1708/2019 (in Norwegian)
The unprecedented speed at which Norwegian automobile buyers have embraced battery electric technology has taken observers, policy makers, stakeholders and even protagonists by surprise. Vehicle electrification in Norway is brought about, not by generous subsidization, but by charging stiff taxes on conventional cars. Zero emission passenger cars are wholly exempt of registration tax, annual ownership tax, fuel tax and even value added tax. They are partly exempt of road toll, ferry fares, parking fees and income tax on private use of company cars. As businesses and consumers respond to these fiscal incentives, the tax revenue dwindles, and the market correction effect of fuel tax is more or less obliterated. To curb the negative external effects of tomorrow’s rising road use demand, a brand new vehicle taxation system is needed. A satellite based system of marginal cost road pricing would do the trick, improving on the present motor vehicle taxation system on at least nine different accounts.