Evidently Norwegians want efficient and sexy electric cars, and they’re willing to pay for them. Last month, Tesla set a record for new car sales in a one month period. The previous record for most vehicles sold in one month was set in 1986, when Ford sold 1,454 Sierra sedans in the country.
But, with 1,493 vehicles bought, the Model S broke that record and was the best-selling car in Norway in the month of March by a wide margin. The runner up, the Volkswagen Golf, sold only 624 units. More surprisingly, so far in 2014, Tesla has sold more cars to Norwegians than Ford has.
Why is Norway so enamoured with Tesla? Part of the answer lies in the country’s heavy incentivizing of electric vehicles.
Norwegians who purchase electric vehicles can receive government tax rebates, take advantage of a well developed and often free-to-use electric charging infrastructure, and enjoy other perks like free parking and use of special driving lanes. It’s no wonder Tesla has topped the country’s monthly car sales charts before, along with other electrics like the Nissan Leaf. According to Green Car Reports, 12 percent of the vehicles sold in Norway in November 2013 were electric vehicles.
“Norway is a small country and there is huge demand for our cars,” said Tesla spokesperson Esben Petersen.
However, Tesla’s growing popularity in the small Scandinavian country hasn’t been without its controversy. The Wall Street Journal reports the government received complaints for incentivizing the purchase of what many consider to be an unnecessarily luxurious vehicle. Whether or not the government hears these criticisms about Tesla or not, it doesn’t look like the sale of electric vehicles in Norway will be slowing down any time soon.