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Norway leads global EV sales

There are approximately 800 electric vehicle charge points in the Republic of Ireland, according to figures from the ESB – which on the surface seems plenty – but in reality, not enough if the electric vehicle craze were to catch on in Ireland.

But Norway – an even more sparsely populated country than Ireland– has revealed that almost a third of new cars sold in Norway in 2018 were pure electric, a new world record as the country strives to end sales of fossil-fueled vehicles by 2025.

In a bid to cut carbon emissions and air pollution, the country’s government has exempt battery-driven cars from most taxes and offers benefits such as free parking and charging points to hasten a shift from diesel and gasoline engines.

This incentive has helped EV sales in Norway to rise to 31.2 per cent of all sales last year, from 20.8 per cent in 2017 and just 5.5 per cent in 2013, while sales of gasoline and diesel cars plunged, according to the independent Norwegian Road Federation (NRF).

Commenting on the figures, Øyvind Solberg Thorsen, CEO of the Norwegian Road Traffic Information, said: “2018 was the year when new passenger cars that go on alternative fuels fortified their strong position in the market.

“With this, Norway consolidates itself in the top layer in the world when it comes to selling cars with alternative fuel.”

These figures consolidates Norway’s global lead in EV sales per capita, and with a population of approximately five million – similar to Ireland – perhaps its time for more Irish motorists to make the switch to electric vehicles, given the rise of running costs of fossil-fueled vehicles.