Rich buyers make up bulk of electric vehicle sales in Norway

Vehicles at an all-electric cars parking lot in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, on May 3, 2019.
Vehicles at an all-electric cars parking lot in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, on May 3, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

The likelihood of buying an electric car in Norway is almost double if you are wealthy

OSLO • The perks of owning an electric car in Norway - one of the world's largest markets for electric vehicles (EV) - are mostly enjoyed by the richest.

That is according to a study released by Statistics Norway on Thursday, revealing that the likelihood of buying an electric car in Norway is almost double if you belong to the richest cohort of the population.

Almost half the cars sold in Norway are now electric. Much of the success of electric vehicles in Norway is owed to generous tax incentives and exemptions from various fees.

The surge in electric car sales even resulted in a shortfall in Norway's automobile taxes of about 3 billion kroner (S$460 million) in this year's budget.

Meanwhile, electrified vehicles account for 40 per cent of overall sales today in Japan.

But more than 90 per cent of the sales were hybrid cars. Fully electric cars, which are expected to spread rapidly the world over, make up less than 2 per cent of sales.

According to statistics obtained by The Japan News, sales of regular-size cars (including compact models) from January to June inclusive totalled 1.49 million, down 0.4 per cent from the same period last year.

Among them, sales of electrified vehicles increased 5.7 per cent to 620,000 units. Sales of petrol-electric hybrids rose by 7.3 per cent to 600,000 units.

With carmakers focusing on the development of such electrified vehicles, Toyota Motor has partially remodelled its Prius hybrid, and Honda Motor has fully remodelled its Insight hybrid.

Meanwhile, sales of pure electric vehicles declined by 26.6 per cent to 10,000 from a year earlier. Sales fell largely because excitement over these new models is wearing off.

Consumers were also frustrated by the high prices of electric cars and a shortage of recharging facilities.

Sales of plug-in hybrid vehicles declined 28.9 per cent, to 8,200 units, while sales of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles totalled 390 units.

According to research firm Fuji Keizai Co, global electric car sales are expected to grow to 11.25 million units in 2035 - about 15 times the number in 2017 - while sales of hybrids are expected to be 4.2 million units.

Although hybrid vehicle sales are expected to remain strong domestically for the time being, Japanesecarmakers are rushing to develop electric sport utility vehicles, given that they are popular overseas.

BLOOMBERG, THE JAPAN NEWS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 17, 2019, with the headline 'Rich buyers make up bulk of EV sales in Norway'. Print Edition | Subscribe