The Nissan LEAF took the number two spot in the overall car sales chart for Norway in April, outpacing numerous combustion-engined cars. The LEAF posted 455 units, representing a 3.3% share for the month. The Volkswagen Golf was the top seller, with 903 units (6.5%).
The LEAF is running in 5th position overall in sales for 2013 to date in the country, and was number 13 overall in 2012. Since the start of sale 18 months ago more than 4,500 of the 100% electric models have been sold in Norway, making it the best selling car in the Nissan range for that market.
Norway has encouraged the use of electric vehicles for many years with tax and usage benefits. National and local governments in the Nordic nation have reduced VAT to zero, installed electric car only car parks and allowed the use of bus lanes to encourage Norwegians to switch to zero emission cars. To cope with the growth in the uptake of EVs, the council in Oslo recently increased charging point installations from 100 per year to 200 per year for the next four years.
It is clear that Norway leads the world in electric vehicle sales per capita and as a people we are very proud of this. We are clearly demonstrating to other countries in Europe and across the globe that if you build infrastructure and put some smart incentives in place people buy zero emission cars and use them everyday.
We may have big oil reserves, but our government sees encouraging electric vehicles as an investment in reducing pollution, raising air quality and improving public health, I hope other countries will learn from this.—Snorre Sletvold, President of the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association