Volkswagen: end of thermal in Norway in 2024, two years before the scheduled date

Volkswagen: end of thermal in Norway in 2024, two years before the scheduled date

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Volkswagen Norway has decided to stop the sale of all internal combustion (petrol and diesel) and hybrid vehicles from January 1, 2024. This decision comes almost two years before the date chosen by the Norwegian government.

© Erick Fontaine / Digital

Last June, the European Parliament voted to ban new thermal cars from 2035. This total ban will be carried out in stages. Thus, by 2025, car manufacturers must have reduced their CO2 emissions by 15%, then 55% in 2030, before 100% in 2035. However, some European Union countries and car manufacturers have moved ahead this deadline of 2035. This is particularly the case for Norway, of which 64.5% of new cars sold in 2021 were 100% electric, which has opted for the date of January 1, 2026.

According to the Norwegian daily Postsen, Volkswagen’s official importer in Norway (Harald A. Møller) has decided that, from January 1, 2024, it will only sell electric vehicles, which is two years before the official date. Exit therefore the Volkswagen petrol, diesel and even hybrid.

Volkswagen: end of thermal in Norway in 2024, two years before the scheduled date

The Volkswagen ID.4 is a bestseller in Norway.

© Erick Fontaine / Digital

Since the start of 2022, Volkswagen Norway has sold some 8,500 passenger cars, of which 6,900 are electric, or just over 81%. The star model being the ID.4, with 5400 owners currently. But Volkswagen is not alone in outperforming as 97% of Audi (Volkswagen Group) models are electric and rivals such as Hyundai and Nissan exceed 90%.

But, as Ulf Tore Hekneby, director of the German brand’s official importer, Harald A. Møller, points out, “it is mainly the delivery situation that determines the share of electric cars for Volkswagen in 2022, and the share of electric cars would already be much higher if Volkswagen had been able to deliver all the cars in its order book”.

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Volkswagen: end of thermal in Norway in 2024, two years before the scheduled date

The top 20 new electric vehicles sold in Norway in July 2022.

© FVO

More than an announcement effect, it is above all the particular market of Norway which has prompted Volkswagen to hasten the date. Indeed, if in 2021 the sale of new electric cars increased by ten points, the year 2022 seems set to do better: 83% of the Norwegian market are 100% electric cars. The sale of thermal vehicles continues to fall.

At this rate, the electric market share should reach 95% by the end of 2022. It should be added that Norway has become the field of experimentation for any manufacturer (European or Chinese) wishing to embark on the electric.

But this objective risks being somewhat slowed down by the fact that the Norwegian government will introduce a VAT on the purchase of new electric vehicles from next year. A report by the Institute of Transport Economics (TØI) calculated that “50% of the car fleet would have been electrified in 2036 if all the instruments and incentives had been maintained as they are, including zero VAT”. As a result, the TØI is counting on 2042 instead.

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