Norway’s September EV sales slide 18.4% on year: agency

New zero emission electric or hydrogen vehicle sales in Norway fell 18.4% year on year in September 2022 to 11,384 units, according to the latest data released Oct. 3 by the Norwegian Road Information Authority.

The volume, however, was up 23.1% from August’s volume and was at a three-month high.

The volume made up 77.7% of the month’s total 14,646 new passenger car registrations, which was also 18.6% lower year on year due to the pandemic and the war in Ukraine creating major production and delivery challenges, although the volume was up 18.5% month on month.

“The figures for both September and the year so far underline the clear turnaround we see in new car sales: The vast majority want to ‘drive green,’ ” authority Director Øyvind Solberg Thorsen said.

“And in a very challenging time, manufacturers and importers have so far managed to deliver a high number of electric cars to customers who ordered a long time ago.”

For the first nine months of 2022, zero emission vehicles totaled 79,930 units, down 0.8% year on year and making up 77.8% of the total 102,760 vehicles sold in Norway during the period.

Increased demand for EVs has driven up battery metal prices, with Platts seaborne lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide assessments surging 120.4% and 149.2%, respectively, since the start of 2022 to $74,500/mt CIF North Asia and $79,000/mt CIF North Asia as of Oct. 3, S&P Global Commodity Insights data showed.

Registrations of new hybrid cars in September dropped 19.7% year on year to 2,481 units, although this was up 5.3% from August, making up 16.9% of the total sales.

Of these, 1,669 were rechargeable hybrids and 812 were not rechargeable.

Meanwhile, sales of petrol engine cars amounted to only 327 units, or 2.2% of total new vehicle sales in September, the lowest market share since January 2022.

The total dropped 40.3% on the year but was also up 13.5% from the previous month.

Sales of diesel engine cars in Norway in September climbed 11.3% from a year ago but fell 3.8% from August to 454 units, a 3.1% share.

According to S&P Global, Norway’s plug-in light duty EV sales are forecast to reach 161,860 units in 2022, up from 147,120 units in 2021, with this rising to 200,520 units in 2025 and 206,800 in 2030.

Norway has been one of Europe’s front-runners in EV adoption, with its total 2021 light duty PEV sales ranking sixth in the world after China, Germany, the US, the UK and France, according to S&P Global.

EV sales have been boosted by government incentives, including no purchase/import taxes, exemption from 25% VAT on purchase, reduced annual road tax, 50% toll road and ferry charges, cheaper municipal parking fees and access to bus lanes, among others.

— Jacqueline Holman