06 Jan 2021, 13:21
Charlotte Nijhuis

VW subsidiary Audi trumps Tesla in sale of e-cars in Norway


Volkswagen subsidiary Audi has overtaken Tesla as the top-selling electric car brand in Norway, according to a report in Wirtschaftswoche. In 2020, more electric cars were sold in Norway than vehicles with gasoline, diesel or hybrid engines combined: Electric vehicles accounted for 54.3 percent of all new cars sold in the country in 2020, compared to 42.2 percent the year before. Electric cars from the German Volkswagen Group were most in-demand, thereby outdoing its US rival Tesla as the market leader. The VW subsidiary Audi was at the top of the list of best-selling cars in Norway, with its e-tron electric models totaling 9227 new registrations in 2020.

Norway has been promoting the sale of electric cars for some time and has set a target of zero internal combustion vehicles by 2025. The reason for the electric mobility breakthrough is a package of measures, including waivers for import duties and taxes for electric cars. In addition, e-cars owners do not pay tolls on highways and are largely exempt from charges for public parking spots, Wirtschaftswoche reports. Charging stations alone are not enough to promote the purchase of e-cars. Consulting firm Berylls told Wirtschaftswoche that in Germany, around nine e-cars need to share one charging station, compared with 23 in Norway. "The network of public charging points is obviously not only thinner than in Germany, but also much more congested," says Berylls auto expert Andreas Radics. "And although there are now waiting times at charging points, the e-car boom in Norway continues."

The take-up of electric vehicles has been slow in Germany compared to many other markets, but registrations have picked up sharply in recent months thanks to new government incentives. Potential customers cite the lack of charging infrastructure as one of the main reasons why they hesitate to buy electric vehicles, despite last year’s rapid increase in the number of charging points. The government's buyer's premium, which grants customers up to 9,000 euros in support, has been scheduled to run out at the end of 2021. But according to a report by news agency Reuters, the premium could now be extended until 2025 to sustain the transition.

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