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With help from Tesla, nearly 80% of Norway’s new car sales are electric By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – Tesla electric cars can be seen at the showroom in Oslo (Norway) March 28, 2019. Picture taken March 28, 2019. REUTERS/Lefteris Karagiannopoulos/File Photo

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Victoria Klesty

OSLO, Reuters – Tesla’s demand for its mid-sized models in Norway helped drive up sales of electric cars to almost 80% last month, according to Friday data.

It has been an international leader in electric vehicle conversions and hopes to eliminate petrol and diesel engine sales by 2025.

The Norwegian Road Federation (OFV), which reported that 77.5% were made of battery-electric vehicles, up from 61.5% last year, said the OFV.

With 19.8% market share, Tesla Model Y (a small sports utility vehicle) was the best-selling vehicle. The Model 3 sedan had 12.3%. With 4.4%, Skoda Enyaq came in third.

The Model Y, which was first unveiled March 2019 by Tesla of California in California, was recently made available for European customers.

Oil-producing Norway is a world leader in eliminating the need for combustion engines. Fully electric cars were exempted from the taxes imposed by those who rely on fossil fuels. EVs also outsold all other vehicles in 2020.

Norway’s zero tax policy may change if centre-left voters win the national elections last month. They plan to tax most costly models.

LUXURY TAX

Jonas Gahr Stoere of Labour will lead the new government. The coalition of parties who have promised to add 25% VAT to the portion of cars that cost more than 600,000 Norwegian Crowns (or $69,300) is expected.

Tesla’s Model Y may not be affected as it costs less than the threshold for tax, but the high-end S or X models of the company are valued at up to 1.3million crowns. This could lead to substantial levies. Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Audi would all be affected.

Labour believes the tax will increase state revenue and is driven by fairness.

Svein Rod Hansen, Labour spokesperson for tax policy, explained that electric car buyers are exempt from tax but it is not permanent.

It’s a subsidy. “And…the subsidy will be greater for the most expensive car,” he stated.

Hansen stated, “We’ve had a lot new models in the last few years… it is possible to purchase a car with a VAT exemption.”

Christina Bu is head of the Norwegian EV Association. She said that a tax on electric luxury cars would make Norway less electrified.

Bu explained that even though the nation is in the most northern part, with its freezing winters and roaming reindeer, the sales of electric cars has been surpassing those made by diesel, petrol or hybrid engines.

She said, “Now the rural areas have started to purchase more electric cars. It’s not time to eliminate the tax exemption. We need to get these markets with higher shares.”

($1 = 8.6543 Norwegian crowns)



Mike Robinson
Mike covers the financial, utilities and biotechnology sectors for Street Register. He has been writing about investment and personal finance topics for almost 12 years. Mike has an MBA in Finance from Wake Forest University.