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Electric models make up almost half of car sales in oil-producing Norway

Electric cars at the Tesla charging station in Gulsvik, Norway. The California-based company sold 3,760 vehicles in Norway in June, for a 24.5 per cent share of all cars during the month.


ALMOST half of new cars sold in Norway in the first six months of 2019 were powered by fully electric engines, up from just over a quarter in the same period last year, ensuring that the Nordic country retains its top global ranking in electric vehicle sales.

Tesla's Model 3 was Norway's top-selling vehicle, the Norwegian Road Federation (NRF) said when announcing the latest sales data on Monday.

In total, 48.4 per cent of all new cars sold from January to June were electric, surpassing the 31.2 per cent seen for the full year of 2018, and making oil-producing Norway the global leader in per-capita electric car sales by a wide margin.

Seeking to end the sale of diesel and petrol engines by the middle of the next decade, Norway exempts battery-driven cars from the heavy taxes imposed on vehicles powered by fossil fuel.

It also offers benefits such as discounts on road tolls.

The policy has boosted brands such as Tesla, Nissan, Hyundai and BMW, which all offer fully electric vehicles, rather than hybrids that use electric motors to drive the car but also have a combustion engine.

Brands without fully electric offerings, such as Ford and Daimler's Mercedes-Benz, have seen sales drop, although Ford and Mercedes are among several carmakers that have promised to offer electric cars in Norway from 2020.

California-based Tesla sold 3,760 vehicles in Norway in June, for a 24.5 per cent share of all cars during the month, and was also the top-selling brand for the first six months.

Most of its sales were of the mid-sized Model 3, while the bigger Model S and Model X have seen lower year-on-year volumes.

The International Energy Agency (IEA), which includes the more widely sold plug-in hybrids when counting electric cars, measured Norway's share at 39 per cent of sales in 2017, far ahead of second-placed Iceland on 12 per cent and Sweden on 6 per cent. REUTERS