Norway sustains c.90pc BEV share despite sales drop

BEV market share more than holds ground in declining overall market

Norway sustains c.90pc BEV share despite sales drop
Norway has consistently hit around or above 90pc BEV share across Q1

BEVs made up 89.3pc of all new registered cars in Norway in March, despite sales of all-electric vehicles dropping by almost half compared to the same period last year.

The striking figures come as a result of the Norwegian car market as a whole contracting by 50pc, while BEV registrations fell more or less in line with the overall market by 48.3pc.

The fact that BEV sales fell by nearly half year-on-year, and yet BEV market share increased by 2.5 percentage points, speaks to how effectively BEVs are replacing other fuel types on Norway's roads, rather than just adding to an increasing car parc.

ICE car registrations fell by almost the same proportion compared to March last year, slipping 47.8pc — albeit from a miniscule starting point compared to BEVs.

Fig.1: Norwegian BEV registrations vs market share

Hybrids were selling well in the final quarter of 2023 but have since fallen drastically. In the first three months of 2024, however, BEV share has marginally given up ground to hybrids, penetration of which rose back to 8.4pc in March.

Norway is no stranger to drastic swings in its relatively small auto market, not least in December 2022, when the impending end of BEV subsidies saw over 32,000 all-electric vehicles bought, only for just over 1,000 to be registered the following month.

First quarter decline

All told, it was a fairly weak first quarter for Norwegian BEV sales. The country registered 20,072 battery cars in the first three months of the year, and although Q1 is typically the weakest in the national market, this is 17.4pc down year-on-year.

Fig.2: Cumulative EV registrations by year

The first quarter was in fact the weakest Q1 of the last three years, but this is perhaps primarily reflecting that Norway's overall passenger car market has progressively shrunk by around a third since Q1'22.

BEVs eclipsed 90pc of new registrations for the first time ever in January, and remained above that mark in February. While March sees BEVs dip marginally below that threshold, the fact that BEVs have consistently floated around or above 90pc in Q1 is a a marked improvement over the share of BEVs sold across all of 2023 (81.2pc).

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