China leads Electric Vehicle Sales but Norway sees largest growth

CNBC’s Phil LeBeau reports electric vehicle sales is surging in China, well above USA and rest of the world. About 600K EVs sold in China last year and expected to surpass 1Million by 2020. There are 26 EV companies in China ready to compete with Tesla. Tesla sold 14,000 cars in China and planning to build a plant there as well. GM sold about 11,000 under its Baojun brand.

According to data collected from car manufacturers’ associations and other industry groups, plug-in electric vehicles accounted for no more than 2.3 percent in any of the world’s five largest passenger car markets in 2017. While China is by far the largest market for electric passenger cars, no country comes even close to Norway in terms of market share of plug-in electric vehicles. In 2017, more than one in three cars sold in Norway was battery-driven – a share that seems unthinkable in most other markets at the moment.

Norway’s lead on electric cars has been driven by the government backing them with a wide range of generous incentives and perks, as a way of meeting its climate change ambitions. Buyers do not pay import tax and VAT on plug-in cars, shaving thousands of pounds off the upfront cost. Running costs are lower because electricity is cheaper than petrol and diesel, while road tax is reduced – and will drop to zero next year. Electric car owners do not pay the mosaic of road tolls, ferry fees and city emissions charges that other Norwegians face. Moreover, they can park for free and bypass traffic by driving in some bus lanes.

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