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autoJanuary 6, 2021

Electric cars rise to record 54pc market share


OSLO: The sale of electric cars in Norway overtook those powered by petrol, diesel and hybrid engines last year, with German auto-maker Volkswagen replacing Tesla as the top battery-vehicle producer, new data showed on Tuesday.
So-called battery electric vehicles (BEV) made up 54.3 per cent of all new cars sold in the Nordic country in 2020, a global record, up from 42.4 per cent in 2019 and from a mere 1 per cent of the overall market a decade ago, the Norwegian Road Federation (OFV) said.
Seeking to become the first nation to end the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2025, oil-producing Norway exempts fully electric vehicles from taxes imposed on those relying on fossil fuels.
The policy has turned the country’s car market into a laboratory for automakers seeking a path to a future without internal combustion engines, vaulting new brands and models to the top of bestseller lists in recent years.
While the sale of BEVs had broken the 50 per cent-mark in individual months, 2020 was the first time that fully electric cars outsold the combined volume of models containing internal combustion engines for a year as a whole.
“We’re definitely on track to reach the 2025 target’’, OFV Chief Executive Oeyvind Thorsen told a news conference. BEV sales accelerated in the final months of 2020, hitting its highest level for any single month in December, with a 66.7 per cent share of the car market. Volkswagen’s Audi brand topped the 2020 leader board with its e-tron sports utility and sportsback vehicles as the most sold new passenger cars in Norway last year, while Tesla’s mid-sized Model 3, the 2019 winner, was relegated to second place.
Electric vehicle sales are set to continue to soar in 2021, industry analysts and car distributors said, as more models are brought to the market.

omanobserver