Norway: Electric Cars and Hybrids exceeded 50% of all new car sales

Norway is far ahead of other countries when it comes to Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Hybrid cars. The Norwegian Road Federation (OFV) reported that EVs  and Hybrids cars accounted for 52 percent of new-car sales, making Norway the country with the largest EV segment market share of new car sales, ahead of Netherlands, Sweden, China, France and United Kingdom, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). This may sounds contradicting, as the country’s wealth is largely based on fossil fuels.

“No one else is close in terms of a national share of electric cars. For the first time we have a fossil-fuel market share below 50 percent”, said to Reuters Oeyvind Solberg Thorsen, chief of OFV.

The sales of electric and hybrid vehicles has been helped by Norway’s generous subsidies, introduced for the first time in the 1990s to help local carmakers, and which are now helping the country to shift from fossil-fuel engines. Norway set the ambitious goal that by 2025 all cars should be zero emissions, a target that seems reasonable considering the current sales rate, but that those incentives will remain untouched in the next years. In 2017 the Norway’s right wing attempted to remove a one-off tax exemption for new electric cars weighing more than two tonnes, a proposal later dubbed as “Tesla tax”.


China will extend tax rebate for new-energy vehicles

China will extend a tax rebate on purchases of so-called new-energy vehicles (NEV) until the end of 2020, said in a statement  on Wednesday the finance ministry. The tax rebate was set to expire at the end of this year, but the government decides to extend the tax refund to incentive automakers to produce more electric vehicles.

“The extension would help increase support for innovation and development in new energy vehicles”, said the Ministry of Finance Xiao Jie. Beijing’s automakers are investing a lot in plug-in electric vehicle and the trend seems unstoppable:  in 2017, the PEV market share of all new car sales crossed 3% for the first time, while the 2017 PEV market share is above 2%, firmly ahead of last year’s average (1.5%), CleanTechnica reported.

China has become the world’s largest automotive market, but local firms still can’t compete worldwide with big brands as General Motors, BMW, Mercedes or Audi, and Beijing’s government  wants to catch up global automaker rivals.


Ford announces plans to shift productions of electric SUV to Mexico

Ford Michigan Assembly Plant

Thursday 7 December, Ford announced plans to make electric SUV at its Cuatitlan factory, in Mexico. The company declared that shifting production of an electric SUV from the U.S. to Mexico will allow to make more self-driving vehicles in Michigan.

The automaker said in March it would not build a new plant in Mexico and it announced to expand the production of EVs and autonomous cars in Flat Rock, a move that would created 700 jobs, as the company said. The plan was prepared after Donald Trump threatened to withdraw the U.S. from the North American Free Trade Agreement. The United Automobile Workers (UAW) told to Free Press that “the latest decision by Ford to produce the EVs in Mexico will not result in fewer jobs at home because the union already negotiated future job commitments”.

Furthermore, Ford  announced to add a second autonomous vehicle to the Flat Rock Assembly Plant and to increase the investment in Flat Rock to $900 million as well as hire a total of 850 workers.