Exponential electric vehicle adoption has been at play in Norway for several years. I remember attending AVERE’s EVS27 in Barcelona back in late 2013 and the hottest news of previous months had been Norway achieving stunning EV market share milestones. That September and October, plug-in vehicles had risen to 7% and 8% market share! (As you’ll see in a few minutes, 7% and 8% market share were figures no other country would touch for years.) Electric cars had been the top selling cars in the country two months in a row — the Tesla Model S in September and the Nissan LEAF in October.
As you read on, I’m tossing in this Michael Jackson classic as a soundtrack for the story:
Questions at the 2013 conference concerned coming EV policy changes in Norway, whether the market share could keep climbing at an exponential clip, who these EV drivers were, and what was driving the rapid adoption.
In November, plug-in vehicle (PEV) market share rose to a stunning 12%.
In subsequent months, the Model S and LEAF continued to find themselves at the top of the sales chart, and the Tesla Model S even outsold all Ford vehicles in the country. In March 2014, Model S registrations were more than double the #2 Golf’s registrations.
In August and September 2014, PEV market share rose to 14.5% and 14.3%. In 2015, more electric cars started competing for the top selling car title, with the VW e-Golf climbing up the ranks, for example. By July and August 2015, PEV sales were so high that they took a stunning 23% and then 26% of car sales in the country. The available models kept broadening.
Sales kept climbing, and by April 2016, plug-ins + hybrids had risen to 60% of the country’s car sales. A month later, despite its small population, Norway became the 4th country to achieve 100,000 total electric car sales. I met a couple of Norwegians in California right before the Model 3 unveiling as we and hundreds of others waited in line in Santa Monica to reserve Model 3s. In the first half of the year, 24% of new cars had plugs, 13% pure electric cars and 11% plug-in hybrids.
The plug-in share was 27% in July, 28% in August, and similar in surrounding months. Basically, the market share had continued climbing up the mass adoption ladder.
A year later, in September 2017, we hadn’t covered Norway’s sales in a while, so I checked in and stuck the country’s EV market share along a generic S-curve graph I had used in cleantech presentations around the world. Electric cars had reached the “early majority” in Norway.
As you can see, the next best country was Iceland at 8%, where Norway had been four years earlier.
Skip ahead one more year and are we still at 35% market share? Of course not. Fully electric cars are up to 45% market share and if you throw in another 15% for the plug-in hybrids, plug-in vehicles are up to a whopping 60% market share in Norway. That means the technology has moved into the “late majority” segment of the technology adoption curve.
Yes, it's a small country, and yes, it's hard to replicate, but what Norway has accomplished on EV adoption is incredible and would have been dismissed as impossible 5 years ago. https://t.co/rK9QhLjYbU
— Colin Mckerracher (@colinmckerrache) October 11, 2018
How long till it’s at 90%? Perhaps when the Model 3 arrives sometime in 2019? Maybe I’ll take bets when I’m in Brussels this week for AVERE’s other big EV conference.
Related: Insane Tesla Sales