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Model S In Norway: Nearly 60% Of Zero-Emission Vehicles Bought In Norway Last Year Were Nissan Leaf Plug-Ins, Tesla Accounted For 25%

A driver leaves a free parking lot reserved for electric vehicles in Oslo Feb. 25, 2013. The car pictured here is a domestically produced EV. Most EVs bought in Norway last year were Nissan Leafs, followed by Tesla Model Ss, which only recently went on sale. Reuters

Annual new car sales figures in Norway are out and they show that the country that offers the world’s most enticing incentives for green-car buyers doubled zero-emission vehicles on its roads last year, to 7,885 vehicles. That’s 5.6 percent of all passenger cars and light trucks bought in 2013.

By comparison, the market share of zero-emission plug-in electric vehicles in the U.S. stands at less than 1 percent. While electric cars worldwide largely depend on fossil fuel for their battery charges, they are more environmentally friendly than cars that have internal combustion because they don’t have exhaust pipes churning out carbon monoxide and micro-particles that cause respiratory problems when emitted in large concentrations, such as in dense urban environments.

Norway’s generous tax breaks for electric vechiles has led to a relative boom in EVs there, but they still make up a small (but growing) share of the total market. The incentives also raise questions about the viability of EVs. Would Norwegians buy as many of them them if they didn’t receive special treatment? How would EVs fare without government nudges?
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