Norwegian electric-vehicle sales overtake petrol & diesel models for first time, but Tesla beaten to top spot

Norway has become the world’s number-one nation for electric vehicles, which comprised more than 50 percent of all new car sales in the country, the Norwegian Road Federation (OFV) reported on Tuesday.

Sales of electric vehicles (EV) accounted for 54.3 percent of all of new cars registered in 2020, setting a global record, compared to 42.4 percent recorded in the previous year, according to the report.

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Seeking to become the first nation to end the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2025, the Nordic state, which is ranked among the top 20 global oil producers, has provided massive subsidies to encourage the domestic transition to electric vehicles. EV drivers enjoy exemption from purchase or import taxes, road tax, as well as free or heavily discounted fees for toll roads, parking and ferries.

In an attempt to boost EV purchases, the Norwegian government has invested in the development of necessary infrastructure, building a fast-charging station every 30 miles on the country’s main roads. Norway also has increased the tax burden on gas-powered cars.

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“We’re definitely on track to reach the 2025 target,” OFV Chief Executive Oeyvind Thorsen told a news conference.

The four best-selling fully electric models were the Audi e-tron, the Tesla Model 3, the Volkswagen ID.3 and the Nissan Leaf. The Volkswagen Golf, which can be bought as a rechargeable version, was the fifth in the ranking of bestsellers.

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