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Norway—The World Leader in BEV Adoption

Part of the Lecture Notes in Mobility book series (LNMOB)


Norway is the leading per capita BEV market in the world. The share of BEVs in the fleet exceeded 5% in December 2017 with another 2.5% being PHEVs. The market shares of BEVs and PHEVs in 2017 were 20% and 18% respectively. The total market share of BEVs and PHEVs in 2018 was well above 40% and in 2019 exceeded 50%. These vehicles have easily been adopted by Norwegian households. 4 out of 5 BEV owners, however, own another vehicle, giving them the option to swap vehicles when the range is too short. A strong incentive package has been introduced since 1990. The political targets which these incentives are intended to support have developed over the years. While these incentives were initially introduced to allow for experimentation with electric vehicles, and subsequent industrialization efforts, they are now geared towards meeting climate policy targets of reducing transportation sector greenhouse gas emissions. These incentives induced 20 years of BEV niche market experimentation and led to a fleet of 3000 BEVs by 2009. The long-term stability of BEV policies, the public awareness of BEVs created by their owners, the competences developed in the niche markets, and the strong incentive package, became a window of opportunity for the traditional passenger vehicle importers. When BEVs became available from their brands from 2010, they could import and sell them with immediate success using their vast national dealer networks.


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  1. 1.

    The total tax for a vehicle weighing 1300 km, emitting 100 g CO2/km and 100 mg NOx/km would be 91.477 * 25 + 100 * 7.093 + 850 * 2.651 + 100 * 6.605 = 5910 Euros. If that vehicle’s CO2-emission had been 50 g/km, the tax would be only 1374 Euros due to the negative CO2 tax below 75 g/km.

  2. 2.

    Insurance costs have been cheaper for BEVs. One of the major insurance companies indicated in June 2018 that this would change (Gjensidige 2018). Insurance cost is therefore not included in the estimates. The costs of servicing, other than oil change, are in general not visible to users at the time of purchase and vary in different parts of the country. The cost should be lower for BEVs, but may not be, as the servicing price for many brands is set independently by the dealers. Servicing cost has therefore not been included.

  3. 3.

    From different manufacturers for redundancy in case of system issues with one manufacturer/model.

  4. 4.

    According to information from the main operators.

  5. 5.

    See Footnote 4.


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This work has been financed by the research council of Norway under the grants 267848 and 225564, the latter as part of the EU FP7/ERA-NET Electromobility + program, as well as the Norwegian Public Roads Administrations and Institute of Transport Economics Emiroad project.

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Correspondence to Erik Figenbaum .

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Figenbaum, E. (2020). Norway—The World Leader in BEV Adoption. In: Contestabile, M., Tal, G., Turrentine, T. (eds) Who’s Driving Electric Cars. Lecture Notes in Mobility. Springer, Cham.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-38381-7

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