New figures show Norway is leading the way in electric car ownership

MOTORISTS in Norway are pushing further towards carbon-free transport as electric and hybrid vehicles accounted for more than half of new cars purchased in 2017.

Norway electric car ownership PA

52.2 per cent of purchases in Norway were either full electric or hybrid cars in 2017

Official figures released by the Norwegian Road Federation showed that electric vehicles made up 20.9 per cent of the country’s new car market, with hybrid sales accounting for 31.3 per cent.

This means that 52.2 per cent of purchases were either full electric or hybrid cars – 40 per cent up from 2016.

In comparison, the country with the second-highest level of electric car sales - The Netherlands - recorded that just 6.4 per cent of total sales were EVs.

This new data comes after Norway - the biggest producer of oil in western Europe - set itself the goal of only selling zero-emission cars from 2025.

Norway electric car ownership PA

The Netherlands have the second-highest level of electric car sales - at just 6.4 per cent

The Scandinavian country has also given its citizens incentive to purchase these zero-emission cars with several tax breaks - making the cars cheaper to purchase.

And unlike diesel or petrol cars, which are heavily taxed, other benefits of electric/hybrid car ownership include free city tolls, ferries, parking and recharging in public car parks, as well as having the right to drive in bus lanes.

The Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association welcomed the new statistics while calling for a continued state incentive.

Secretary general Christina Bu said: “The goal of 2025 is ambitious. We need to go from 21 per cent market share to 100 per cent in seven years, which means we still have a way to go even if it’s going in the right direction and the increase compared to 2016 is satisfactory.”

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