Lessons from Norway’s double-digit EV penetration
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Mar 5, 2020
Emma Jarratt

What happens when 10 per cent of your vehicles are electric? A huge drop in petro-product sales, for one thing

Image source: The Norwegian EV Association

What happens when 10 per cent of your vehicles are electric? A huge drop in petro-product sales, for one thing

One in 10 cars on Norway’s roads is fully electric-powered. And the nation’s fossil fuel dealers are feeling the pinch. In January 2020, 560 million litres of petroleum products were sold – a nearly seven per cent drop from January 2019, according to data from Statistics Norway. By comparison, 2018 saw an overall two per cent drop in fuel sales in Norway.

As Canada’s electric fleet might well grow into the double digits this decade, the changed market could have the same affect here.

“At the beginning it doesn’t make much of a difference,” Christina Bu, Secretary General of the Norwegian EV Association, wrote in a recent social media post. “But then, little by little the EV penetration in new car sales rises and slowly it also effects the total car fleet.”

In Canada, EVs have roughly 2.5 per cent of the vehicle market share. Most of the predictions around EV adoption rates for Canada by 2030 look at three scenarios:  rapid adoption with upwards of 30 per cent penetration; moderate with roughly 15 per cent; and slow with three percent or less. Data shows that Canada is on track for moderate penetration. (Countries mimicking the more aggressive Norwegian model of subsidies and incentives for EVs could achieve rapid adoption by 2030.)

Canadian industry stakeholders are making preparations and taking advantage of the more gentle adoption curve to test pilot programs – particularly with respect to utilities.

Planning intensifies

Previous reporting from Electric Autonomy Canada shows industries from oil and gas to city planning are adapting to meet the changing landscape or are innovating entirely to capitalize on new commercial opportunities.

Fuel sales in Norway drop as EV sales increase
Data compiled from elbil.no – the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association – shows an overall 9.6 per cent drop in fuel sales between January 2017 to January 2020. Image source: The Norwegian EV Association

Speculation on when market penetration milestones will be reached is a booming niche for financial planning institutions and will continue to garner significant interest as the fleet landscape evolves.

But whether the pundits are predicting double digit EV penetration in five, 10 or 20 year increments there is one common denominator: all the forecasts for EV adoption point up.

For more insights on the the Norwegian market, the Nordic EV Summit takes place in Oslo 23rd to 24th April 2020

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