Norway sets world record with electric cars sold last year

Norway set a new world record last year after nearly a third of all its new car sales were electric, a step toward the country’s goal of cutting out fossil fuel vehicles altogether.

The independent Norwegian Road Federation announced on Wednesday that 31.2 percent of all car sales in 2018 were electric, Reuters reported, an increase from 20.8 percent in 2017 and just 5.5 percent in 2013.

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Sales of gasoline and diesel cars plummeted in conjunction with the benefits Norway offers for electric car owners, such as tax-exempt status, free parking and charging stations.

New car sales overall fell 6.8 percent in 2018, according to Norwegian Road Federation data.

Nissan’s upgraded Leaf electric car was the top-selling car in Norway, followed by small BMWs and Volkswagens.

Norway is aiming to have all new cars be emissions-free by 2025, Reuters noted.

The Institute of Transport Economics, however, doubts the goal.

“Strictly speaking I don’t think it’s possible, primarily because too many people don’t have a private parking space and won’t want to buy a plug-in car if they can’t establish a charging point at home,” institute economist Lasse Fridstroem told Reuters.