New car sales shift into high gear

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A total of 158,650 new cars were registered in Norway last year, making 2017 an historic year for sales. Only twice before have more cars been sold, in the boom years of 1985 and 1986.

The increase amounted to 2.6 percent over 2016 and indicates the resurgence of the Norwegian economy after the oil price collapse in 2014. Nearly 21 percent of all cars sold (33,080) were zero-emission vehicles, which also confirms the ongoing popularity of electric cars in Norway.

“The trend is clear: Folks in Norway choose new electric cars, hybrids and then gasoline-driven cars instead of diesel,” Øyvind Solberg Thorsen of the transport information council (Opplysningsrådet for Veitrafikken) told news bureau NTB this week. Diesel cars made up 64 percent of all sales as late as 2012, after government officials had suggested they were environmentally friendly.

Developments within electric car technology have taken off since, leading to another huge increase (143 percent) in sales of Teslas, which are relatively reasonable in Norway given all their subsidies and tax incentives. The most-sold car in Norway last year, however, was the VW Golf, followed by the BMW i3, the Toyota RAV 4 hybrid, the Tesla model X and the Volkswagen Passat.

newsinenglish.no staff