Half of Norway's new-car sales are now hybrids or electrics


Electric-car rally in Geiranger, Norway [Image: Norsk elbilforening via Flickr]

Electric-car rally in Geiranger, Norway [Image: Norsk elbilforening via Flickr]

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Norway has achieved yet another milestone in electric-car sales.

The Scandinavian country may be the friendliest for electric cars in the world, thanks to a combination of aggressive incentives, well-developed charging infrastructure, and a citizenry committed to lowering carbon emissions.

Thanks to this unique array of circumstances, electric cars routinely make up a larger percentage of new-car sales in Norway than they do in other countries.

DON'T MISS: What can we learn from electric-car owners in Norway (more than 100K of them)? (Aug 2016)

As data from this year begins to trickle in, it appears that percentage is growing to levels never seen elsewhere.

Half of all new cars registered in Norway in January were electric cars or hybrids, reports The Independent.

Norway's Road Traffic Information Council reported that electric cars accounted for 17.6 percent of new-car registrations in January.

DC fast-charging site in Nebbenes, Norway [photo: Norsk elbilforening]

DC fast-charging site in Nebbenes, Norway [photo: Norsk elbilforening]

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Hybrids accounted for 33.8 percent, bringing the combined total of the two categories to 51.4 percent.

Electrified vehicles—hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery-electric—have accounted for half of new Norwegian car registrations at least once before, in March 2016.

There have also been individual months when electric cars—the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S—were the top selling cars in Norway.

ALSO SEE: Two-thirds of new cars in Norway last month were hybrid or electric (Apr 2016)

Helping to achieve those impressive statistics are the fact that electric cars are excused from many of the taxes and fees gasoline and diesel-car owners must pay.

Electric cars have also been given perks, like free charging, free parking, and access to restricted bus lanes in urban areas.

In addition, the fact that most electric cars to go on sale in recent years have had ranges of 100 miles or less has not been as much of an issue in Norway as it has elsewhere.

Oslo street scene: Nissan Leaf, Volkswagen e-Golf, Tesla Model S, July 2015

Oslo street scene: Nissan Leaf, Volkswagen e-Golf, Tesla Model S, July 2015

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That's because the population is fairly densely concentrated around the capital of Oslo, with most people living within 60 miles of the city.

The short driving distance, along with copious charging infrastructure in Oslo, cuts down on range anxiety significantly.

But government officials and non-government advocates would like to see electric-car sales grow even more.

CHECK OUT: Norway's Goal: All New Cars Will Be Emission-Free By 2025 To Cut Carbon (Aug 2015)

The government is several years into a focused plan that will end sales of new vehicles with gasoline or diesel engines by 2025.

Considering that all-electric vehicles still made up less than 20 percent of new-car registrations in January, that is an ambitious goal—even for Norway.

Yet, given the country's surprising rate of electric-car adoption so far, it would seem today that Norway may have a better chance of achieving that ground-breaking goal than any other country.

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