Norway releases monthly sales numbers for the entire country, giving us an easy way to see exactly how many cars of each model were sold. Those statistics include an entry for powertrain, giving us an easy way to see how the country is doing as the global leader in EV progress.
And as we see every month, the country’s non-EV sales continue to vanish, while EVs dominate – particularly Tesla.
In May, 80.7% of cars sold in the country were fully electric. This is down slightly from the 2023 average of 83%, but higher than last year’s May numbers, which stood at 73%.
ModelMay 20232023 YTD
Tesla Model Y269112,328
Audi Q4 e-tron3861191
Ford Mustang Mach-E3721132
Toyota Yaris/Yaris Cross3631399
Volkswagen ID. Buzz308782
Toyota Corolla/Corolla Cross2951038
Hyundai Ioniq 5270701
Audi Q8 e-tron257511
What’s more interesting is that there are now virtually no gasoline- or diesel-only car sales in the country. Of the remaining cars that aren’t fully electric, 16% of sales are hybrid (including plug-ins) and only 2.1% are diesel-only and 1.2% are gasoline-only. These numbers are down from 3.7% and 4.2% respectively from the same month last year.
So while there are month-to-month fluctuations, the trend is still clear. Cars without some type of battery in them are vanishing from Norway’s dealer lots – and not because they’re being sold out, but rather because nobody wants them.
As for breakdowns by model, the Tesla Model Y is the most popular vehicle in the country by a huge margin. The Model Y was recently declared best-selling car in the world , the first EV to do so. While Norway is a comparatively small market, its strong performance in the country certainly doesn’t hurt.
So far this year, Tesla’s most popular model has sold a whopping 454% as many units as its closest competitor, the ID.4, with 12,328 sales compared to the ID.4’s 2,712. The Model Y represents almost a quarter of all car sales in Norway since the start of the year, with 24.2% market share for this single car model. In May alone, the Model Y beat the ID.4 with “only” 364% as many sales, but monthly numbers are less reliable with Tesla due to the way the company ships cars.
Tesla as a whole has a 26.3% market share this year, making it the country’s #1 brand (though the Model Y would qualify as such all on its own, since it accounts for the vast majority of Tesla’s sales).
Tesla’s sales numbers have been helped by massive price cuts , keeping its cars competitive in an environment where customers around the world are starting to cut back due to economic fears and higher interest rates making car loans more expensive. In Norway, as in other countries, buyers have moved a little downmarket in response to these economic changes.
Norway has targeted a 2025 end to gasoline-vehicle sales in the country , though trends suggest that they could get there even earlier than that. EV sales have somewhat plateaued with less rapid progress in the last year or so, but they seem to be following the same S-curve that many technological changes follow, with some laggards sticking around longer than anyone would like at the end of the curve.
So I would say that Norway has basically met its target, but any more progress towards complete elimination (and conversion of those remaining hybrids to all-electric) is welcome. In fact, Norway’s current 80%+ BEV share is enough to meet California’s 2035 gas car ban , which will actually still allow 20% of vehicles to be plug-in hybrids.
In fact, Norway has been so successful with EV sales that the country is even rolling back EV incentives to focus on walking and cycling instead, a step toward more sustainable transportation than even EVs can provide. And manufacturers are pulling gas cars out of the country , some with only a couple days’ notice , recognizing there’s no point to stocking vehicles that are only going to get single-digit sales numbers anyway.
Progress like this shows how regions can meet EV targets early, and how setting those EV targets can send a signal to consumers and manufacturers to adapt early so they aren’t left with a gas-powered albatross around their neck when the time comes.
This is a warning to manufacturers: the same is going to happen (and is already happening ) elsewhere. As consumers catch on to the superiority of EVs, as governments (hopefully) catch on to the severity and urgency of climate action, sales of fossil-powered cars will have to dry up, and quick. And car development cycles are slow, so you better have already started working on this or things could go poorly .