An announcement from the Norwegian Road Federation (NRF) has revealed that nearly 60% of all vehicles sold in Norway last month were all-electric, setting a new record for EV sales in the country. Behind this historic milestone is the arrival of a sedan that was designed to disrupt the auto industry: the Tesla Model 3.
Norway registered 10,316 electric vehicles in March, comprising 58.4% of all car sales in the month. This was the first time that EVs accounted for more than 50% of all auto sales in the country. The market share of all-electric cars in the first quarter was also the highest recorded at 48.4%.
What is rather remarkable about Norway’s EV sales record was that it was largely driven by the Tesla Model 3, which set a new benchmark for competing electric car makers by selling 5,315 vehicles in March. That’s far above the previous record held by the Nissan Leaf, which sold 2,172 units in one month last year.
More than 18,000 cars were registered in Norway on March, over 10,000 of which were electric vehicles. From this number, 5,822 were Tesla Model S, Model 3, and Model X. This means that in March, Tesla accounted for over 31% of Norway’s car sales, or one in every three vehicles. For a 15-year-old carmaker, such a feat is incredibly impressive.
Granted, Norway is but a small country, and its sales will likely pale in comparison to the numbers that will be produced by territories like China. Nevertheless, Tesla’s Model 3-driven milestone carries a lot of significance, as it all but proves that demand for the electric sedan is significant in territories beyond the United States.
Among the most prominent bear thesis against Tesla this first quarter was the assumption that demand for its vehicles has weakened significantly. Last week alone, RBC analyst Joseph Spak reduced his price target on Tesla stock (NASDAQ:TSLA) by $35 to $210 over what be cited as “meager demand” for the Model 3. Norway’s March figures are a direct rebuttal of this assumption, as it shows that it is far too early to discount the demand for the Model 3, at least until the vehicle gets a chance to compete in the international market.
Norway’s EV sales records in March also proved that it is possible to quickly and aggressively adopt electric transportation. Secretary-General Christina Bu of the Norwegian EV Association highlighted this point in a statement to news agency Elbil.no.
“Norway has every reason to be proud of breaking more BEV records. The BEV policy is working so well that the larger part of consumers opts for a BEV when buying a new car. Norway shows the whole world that fully electric cars can replace petrol and diesel cars and become an important contribution to combat CO2 emissions, as well as relieving local air from other harmful gases caused by burning fossil fuels,” Bu said.
Norway’s milestone is a victory for Tesla, whose parimary mission as frequently noted by Elon Musk is to accelerate the transition of the world to sustainable energy. Encouraging the transportation sector to adopt electric cars is a valuable component of this goal, and with Norway’s March sales numbers, the country and the carmaker have proved such a goal is not too far-fetched. All it takes is open support for EVs and an electric car that is better than its gasoline counterparts in every way.