Norway’s Car Fleet Transitions To Electrical — How Lengthy Will It Take?

As of the tip of Q2 2022, Norway’s passenger automobile fleet comprised 24.4% plugin automobiles (18% full electrics), up from 19.3% (13.6%) yr on yr. What’s the trajectory of Norway’s automobile fleet, and the way lengthy will it’s earlier than most automotive journeys are made on electrical energy?

This time a yr in the past, the plugin share of the fleet was 19.3% (13.6% BEV), so their share grew by 5.1% over the previous 12 months. This comes on account of 88.9% share of latest gross sales over this 12 month interval being plugin, and although new gross sales have seen decrease absolute volumes not too long ago (H1 2022 was over 20% down in quantity YoY).

These outcomes means that, different issues being equal, as soon as plugins are usually at or above 95% share of latest gross sales, and the auto gross sales market recovers to regular volumes, a plugin fleet annual development of round 6% ought to consequence.

A Longer View

To know the connection between evolving fleet composition, the relative proportion of Norway’s passenger automobile journey made by electrical energy versus fossil gasoline energy, and the discount in quantity of fossil fuels used, we have to step again a bit and contemplate just a few elements.

First let’s perceive that the totally different powertrains in Norway’s passenger automobile fleet have very totally different age profiles. To see this, take a look at this long term (and simplified) fleet annual time sequence from 2005 to the tip of 2021. This one is predicated on long run information from the SSB, fairly than from the OFV (geek notice — their information methodology differs). I’ve eliminated the skinny slices of HEV and PHEV to concentrate on the three foremost powertrains:

The typical age of automobiles retiring from Norway’s passenger automobile fleet is at present 17 to 18 years outdated (they might be scrapped, or exported as used automobiles). The general fleet profile subsequently outcomes largely from the sample of latest automobile gross sales over the previous 20 years or so, and can’t shortly transition primarily based solely on what has been taking place within the final handful of years.

We are able to clearly see from the above graph that petrol combustion automobiles (in yellow) had been very dominant in Norway’s passenger fleet popping out of the late Nineties and thru the early 2000s, however that diesel began to take growing share away from petrol, particularly from 2006-2007 onwards.

This was merely resulting from extra new diesel automobiles becoming a member of the fleet than new petrol automobiles — clearly by way of increased new gross sales and registrations (graph under). However discover that — while diesels strongly dominated new gross sales from 2006 on — it wasn’t till 2016 that diesels really overtook petrol automobiles because the dominant powertrain within the total fleet. Fleet transitions take time.

Right here’s a visualization of that interval of diesel gross sales dominance, lasting from roughly 2006 to 2016:

Mockingly, simply as diesel was lastly outweighing petrol within the total fleet, diesels gross sales had been quickly declining again to petrol gross sales ranges, and each had been then fading quick anyway, resulting from BEVs beginning their take over of the brand new automotive market.

Since round 2015, each combustion powertrains’ gross sales have been in steep decline as plugins and particularly BEV choices have multiplied and grow to be ever extra reasonably priced, succesful, and out there. Right here at CleanTechnica we’ve been reporting on these evolving tendencies each month for key markets, for a few years.

Ageing Automobiles Get Pushed Much less

What does this view of the current historical past of powertrain gross sales and fleet share inform us? BEVs are actually taking the overwhelming majority of latest gross sales (round 80% and rising), and are thus slowly however steadily rising in fleet share as combustion friends fail to get changed by new combustion additions.

Importantly, the overwhelming majority BEVs within the fleet are very younger automobiles, in comparison with their combustion counterparts.

As of the beginning of 2022 BEVs represented some 16% of Norway’s total fleet, with 455,271 passenger BEVs on Norway’s roads. However notice that some 80% of these BEVs (over 330,000 of them) are 2017 classic or newer. Put in a different way, solely 20% are from 2016 or older.

The fleet of diesel and petrol automobiles, collectively over 70% of the entire fleet, are on common a lot older automobiles. Of the 1,166,789 diesel passenger automobiles within the fleet in the beginning of 2022, lower than 10% are automobiles bought in 2017 or later, so over 90% are greater than 5 years outdated.

Likewise, within the petrol fleet of 911,502 automobiles (begin of 2022), solely round 12% are from 2017 or newer — 88% are greater than 5 years outdated.

What’s the importance of this skewed aged profile of the combustion automobile fleet? Older automobiles on common get pushed lower than newer automobiles.

Because of this, the “annual automobile km traveled” (and subsequently the vitality used /emissions produced) by outdated automobiles is much less, different issues being equal.

On a whole-of-fleet degree, the proportion of whole passenger automobile km traveled is more and more weighted in direction of the a lot youthful BEVs, and away from the older combustion automobiles. Extra so than a cursory look on the easy fleet powertrain share would possibly counsel.

Clearly the concept older automobiles get pushed comparatively much less makes intuitive sense, however let’s verify that the onerous information from Norway helps this, beginning with diesels:

Observe how the discount in annual km traveled for diesel passenger automobiles as they age is pretty predictable and linear. We are able to additionally see that the typical (“All Ages”) diesel automobile within the fleet drove 12,665 km in 2021, down from a peak of over 19,000 in 2007 (when many of the diesel fleet was comparatively new and closely used).

Petrol automobiles in Norway get pushed much less annual km than diesels. That is partly as a result of, resulting from petrol ICEs being considerably cheaper to supply than diesel ICEs (which function at a lot increased stress), petrol energy is extra widespread within the reasonably priced compact, and subcompact, city automobile lessons. Clearly these small automobile lessons are likely to cowl much less annual KM than the typical diesel automobile, which is bigger and costlier. The truth that diesels have higher gasoline value per km than petrol automobiles can also be an element differentiating their respective common annual km traveled.

The typical petrol automobile within the fleet traveled 8,117 km per yr in 2021, down from over 12,000 km in 2007:

BEVs are a special story, as a result of — at industrial scale — they’re a brand new and quickly evolving expertise, with excessive development charges. Discover that previous to June 2013, the few BEV fashions out there in any quantity (Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi i-MiEV triplets, just a few Suppose! Metropolis, and Buddy EVs) had been 1st technology, lowish vary automobiles, best suited for city and regional journeys. Solely 30-something Tesla roadsters had been delivered to Norway in 2012, versus over 4,000 Leafs-and-triplets.

DC charging infrastructure was additionally in its infancy again earlier than 2013. These elements resulted in annual common distance traveled for BEVs within the vary of 6,500 to 7,500 km, even when these automobiles had been new.

Nevertheless, after the Tesla Mannequin S arrived in Norway (from June 2013), and DC quick chargers for all BEVs began to unfold quickly, the typical BEV annual km traveled shortly began climbing, to nearly 12,000 km by 2016.

With increasingly chargers, and long-range-and-affordable BEVs out there from 2017 (Chevy Bolt/Ampera-e), later Hyundai Kona and Kia Niro, and a great deal of Tesla Mannequin 3s from February 2019, the annual km traveled has continued to extend.

The truth is, as of the tip of full yr 2021, BEVs, averaging 12,772 km per yr, had overtaken diesels’ 12,665 km:

With gasoline value financial savings being biggest for these with the best annual driving distances, and BEVs now absolutely able to common long-distance journeys (particularly because of Norway’s nice charging infrastructure), the typical km traveled of BEVs will probably enhance for a number of extra years.

Complete Passenger Car KM Traveled by Powertrain

Norway’s statistics bureau (SSB) additionally gathers information on the mixed whole annual km pushed by all the membership of a given powertrain. Since we all know that the combustion powertrain fleets are extremely skewed in direction of a lot older automobiles that are likely to drive much less, we should always anticipate to see their mixed whole km pushed declining even quicker than their proportion of the fleet is declining.

Let’s first isolate the SSB’s passenger automobile fleet information as particular person powertrain quantity curves:

Now, let’s verify if the mixed whole annual km pushed by combustion powertrains is declining even quicker:

The visible impression is obvious, each petrol and diesel fleets’ whole km pushed is declining at an excellent quicker charge than their precise fleet measurement is declining.

From their 2008 unit quantity (nearly 1.6M), till the tip of 2021 (slightly below 0.9M), the variety of petrol automobiles within the fleet has decreased by 44.3%. Nevertheless, their mixed km pushed has declined at a a lot steeper charge, by 60.7%.

For diesels, from their peak fleet numbers in 2017, their ranks have decreased by 6.3% to the tip of 2021, however their mixed KM pushed have decreased by 18.1%.

In each circumstances, the fleet of combustion automobiles have seen a disproportionate decease in whole km traveled over current years, because the fleet ages.

Gas Use Fade Out Fee?

As Norway’s passenger automobile fleet steadily continues its transition from combustion to electrical, and km traveled by combustion decreases, the gasoline use of Norway’s passenger automobile transport is clearly lowering.

Since petrol and diesel gasoline use by passenger automobiles ought to carefully correlate with the fleet’s km traveled, we are able to search for this relationship within the information.

Diesel gasoline is closely utilized by many different varieties of street automobiles than simply passenger automobiles, (and used extensively within the giant marine sector, and others additionally) so the correlation is difficult to detect within the diesel gasoline gross sales information.

For petrol gasoline — for which gross sales tends to be very carefully tied to its use in petrol passenger automobiles — the decline with the diminishing annual KM pushed could be clearer.

Right here’s the chart of petrol gasoline deliveries over time, a spinoff of the above chart. Petrol deliveries are added on, scaled and anchored to match the 2010 level of reference (2010 is the primary date out there for the gasoline information set):

From 2010 to 2021, whole petrol fleet km pushed decreased by 55.3% (17,907 million km, right down to 7,995 million km). Petrol gasoline gross sales over the identical interval declined by simply 40.3% (1625 right down to 970 million liters). Right here’s the hyperlink to the information, together with sources for anybody who desires to dig additional.

General, clearly the quantity of petrol gasoline deliveries is declining decently over time, simply not fairly retaining tempo with the decline in fleet km traveled.

Is the petrol supply quantity being propped up by growing automobile measurement (the rise of SUVs), colder-than-normal winters, increased authorized driving speeds, or another variables? I don’t know. I’d respect information geeks, particularly these accustomed to elements in Norway’s automotive panorama, leaping in to the feedback and serving to us perceive why petrol (“motor gasoline”) gasoline deliveries usually are not extra carefully matched over time with petrol automobile km traveled.

I’ll replace the article right here if our neighborhood has some good insights. Replace — A number of commenters have advised that gasoline use could also be propped up by the lower in effectivity of the ICE powertrain as automobiles age, which might actually be a key affect. We’ve additionally had the reminder that each one combustion automobiles (together with petrols) noticed rising energy outputs from the late Nineties into the 2010s, and bigger automobile sizes which — regardless of producer claims on unrealistic consumption assessments — in all probability eat extra gasoline per km than the older, smaller, much less highly effective automobiles which have not too long ago retired. Please bounce within the feedback under when you have an different insights into why petrol consumption shouldn’t be fairly lowering as the identical charge as whole km traveled.

Biofuel facet notice — petrol gasoline deliveries above contains the legislated fraction of bio-petrol (“bioetanol”) throughout the combine. This fraction stood at round 6% on the finish of 2020 and is steadily growing. Biodiesel was over 16% fraction of auto diesel in 2020 (newest dates I’ve sources for). A proportion of 12.5% to fifteen.5% biofuel is combined in to street site visitors fuels in 2022, and can rise over time. There’s additionally effort to extend the share of “superior” biofuels that don’t compete with meals manufacturing, nor contain deforestation.

General, we are able to conclude that the passenger automobile fleet is steadily turning over from combustion energy to plugin energy, the share of km traveled is popping over even quicker, and passenger automobile gasoline use is declining nearly (however not fairly) proportionally to km traveled. Sadly, we solely get the SSB’s “km traveled” information yearly, so we must wait till subsequent yr to check out the evolving correlation between these 3 key variables.


We get quarterly updates on Norway’s fleet composition from the OFV, by way of, the newest of which appeared just a few weeks in the past. This time, fairly than speaking the replace as a brief portion of Norway’s month-to-month EV report, I assumed I’d take readers by way of a deeper dive into among the key variables concerned.

As we noticed on the prime of this text, on the finish of June 2022, the fleet comprised simply over 18.0% BEVs and 6.4% PHEVs, for a complete of 24.4% plugins. Over the previous 12 months, plugins had been 88.9% of latest gross sales, and this (together with gray imports and retirement charges) mapped to fleet share of plugins rising by 5.1%, from 19.3% to 24.4%.

This 5.1% change occurred even amidst H1’s auto gross sales volumes dropping by 20% YoY. If the brand new automobile market stabilizes at seasonally common volumes, and plugin share climbs to 95% of latest gross sales and past, we are able to anticipate the plugin fleet to develop by round 6% per yr within the close to future.

With growing gasoline costs throughout Europe, and BEVs getting steadily cheaper, there’s a good likelihood that people driving older combustion automobiles may even start to carry ahead their retirement from the customary 17–18 years age. To the extent that this occurs, maybe accompanied by higher imports of calmly used BEVs from neighbouring international locations, the fleet plugin share might develop extra shortly, maybe by 7% yearly within the coming years.

Because of this, from mid-2022’s 24.4% share of the fleet, by the tip of 2025 we might be taking a look at from 42% plugins (if 5% development yearly) to 49% plugins (if 7%). By the tip of 2030, 67% plugins (if 5%) to 84% (if 7%). I’ll take a cautious determine of 70% because the decrease sure.

Since plugless HEVs account for five% fleet share right now, and 4.4% of latest gross sales over the previous 12 months, and are newer than the typical combustion automobile, HEVs ought to nonetheless maintain 3% to five% (say 4%) of the fleet by 2030. These are plugless and get all their vitality from combustion fuels, however are barely extra gasoline environment friendly than the typical combustion-only automobile.

Picture by Fritz Hasler.

Because of this solely round 26% of the fleet will probably be combustion-only by the tip of 2030, and 30% as soon as we embrace plugless HEVs.

Greater than 80% of the plugless fleet will probably be over 10 years outdated and — as we noticed within the graphs above — being pushed rather a lot lower than they was.

In 2010, 99.5% of the fleet had been plugless automobiles, every touring over 13,000 km per yr on common. By the tip of 2030, the roughly 30% of the fleet that continues to be plugless will probably be touring probably 6,000 to 7,000 km per yr on common, round half their 2010 distances.

General then, plugless km traveled will subsequently be roughly 15% of what it was in 2010, earlier than the EV transition had actually began. Gas demand for these km must be within the vary of 15% to twenty% of what’s was in 2010.

Nevertheless, recall that biofuels are already 12.5% to fifteen.5% of the street transport gasoline quantity delivered right now. If biofuel quantity simply retains secure (or modestly growing) as total demand for combustion fuels declines to fifteen% to twenty% of earlier ranges, the fossil gasoline proportion of this residual street gasoline demand might be simply half (or much less) by the tip of 2030. This could then symbolize maybe simply 7.5% to 10% of the 2010 fossil gasoline quantity, for passenger automobiles.

There are many different classes of use of fossil fuels in Norway, however passenger automobiles are the most important, and the opposite classes (particularly industrial street transport classes) are additionally now shortly turning to electrification.

What are your ideas on Norway’s passenger fleet transition and total decline in street transport gasoline demand? Please be part of within the dialogue under.


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