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Strong growth in driving with electric cars and hybrids

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The combined mileage covered by electric cars and hybrid cars increased by more than 40 per cent from 2016 to 2017, accounting for around 10 per cent of the total vehicle-kilometres driven with Norwegian passenger cars in 2017.

The stock of Norwegian-registered electric cars and hybrid cars grew sharply in 2017, and the mileage covered by these vehicles also increased significantly according to new figures for Road traffic volumes.


The mileage covered by electric passenger cars increased by 41 per cent from 2016 to 2017, accounting for around 5 per cent of the total vehicle-kilometres performed by all passenger cars in 2017. In addition, the mileage covered by passenger cars in the ‘other fuels’ category (mainly petrol and diesel hybrids) increased by 49 per cent in the same period, also accounting for around 5 per cent of the total vehicle-kilometres driven with all passenger cars. This corresponds approximately to the shares of registered passenger cars in these fuel categories.

1 Mainly petrol and diesel hybrids

Figure 1. Road traffic volumes for all passenger cars, by type of fuel

2015 2016 2017
Electric 793.6 1173.3 1654.7
Other fuels¹ 17.2 1274.0 1897.1
Petrol 13416.1 12110.2 11413.8
Diesel 20097.3 20420.4 20334.9

The total mileage covered by traditional petrol and diesel-powered cars dropped by 6 and 0.4 per cent respectively from 2016 to 2017. The mileage attributed to petrol-driven cars thus accounted for 32 per cent of the total vehicle-kilometres for all passenger cars in 2017, while the diesel-powered passenger cars accounted for 58 per cent of the passenger cars in total.

Diesel-powered passenger cars are driven the most

Among all passenger cars, the diesel-powered vehicles put in the most road work with an average annual mileage of around 15 100 kilometres in 2017. The stock of petrol-powered passenger cars has a higher average age than the diesel-powered cars and a lower average mileage of about 9 100 kilometres per year.


The calculated average mileages for passenger cars powered by electricity and by other fuels were 11 800 kilometres and 12 900 kilometres in 2017, respectively. However, for these vehicle categories the average annual distances are affected by the strong growth in the stock of electric cars and hybrids during 2017, resulting in a large proportion of the cars being driven less than twelve months of the year.

Two-thirds of total driving is diesel-powered

Diesel-powered road goods vehicles, buses and passenger cars were driven 29.9 billion kilometres in 2017, about the same as the year before. This accounted for 66 per cent of the total distances covered by all Norwegian road vehicles in 2017. In comparison, petrol-powered road vehicles were driven 11.6 billion kilometres, reducing their share of the total road traffic volumes to 26 per cent.

Figure 2. Road traffic volumes for all vehicles, by type of fuel

2017
Electric 4 % 1683.9
Other fuels 4 % 1956.7
Petrol 26 % 11645.8
Diesel 66 % 29921.4

Electric vehicles and vehicles powered by other fuels both increased their shares of the total distances covered by Norwegian road vehicles from around 3 per cent in 2016 to around 4 per cent in 2017.

Total driving increased 0.9 per cent

All in all, Norwegian road vehicles were driven a total of 45.2 billion kilometres on Norwegian and international roads in 2017. This is an increase of 0.9 percent in total road traffic volumes compared with the previous year.

Figure 3. Road traffic volumes, by main type of vehicle

2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
All heavy lorries and road tractors 2011.7 2021.4 1888.6 1810.8 1878.4 1938.0 1932.9 1960.5 1964.1 1977.7 2007.1
All vans and small lorries 7385.9 7604.9 7445.2 7390.4 7382.2 7541.0 7466.6 7364.4 7265.4 7275.2 7322.7
All buses 721.6 694.2 644.9 622.6 611.0 596.9 583.1 572.1 564.3 570.3 577.5
All passenger cars 32247.2 32713.7 32631.1 32737.3 33032.0 33876.2 33930.5 33841.1 34324.1 34977.9 35300.5

Passenger cars accounted for 78 per cent of the total vehicle-kilometres covered by Norwegian road vehicles in 2017, while all vans and small lorries accounted for 16 per cent of the total road traffic volumes. Specialised work horses such as all heavy lorries and road tractors and all buses accounted for 4 per cent and slightly over 1 per cent of the total distances, respectively.

New calculation of vehicle-kilometres for electric cars 2015-2017

The road traffic volume statistics are based on odometer readings collected at mandatory periodic vehicle inspections. The calculation of driving distances for cars that have not yet had their first control is model-based (see About the statistics). However, the rapid increase in the stock of electric cars in recent years, coupled with the rapid development in the technology and reach of these vehicles, has provided certain challenges for the modelling of average and total mileages for electric vehicles. In connection with the publication of the road traffic volume statistics for 2017, Statistics Norway has developed a more detailed model for calculating these mileages. At the same time, the calculated mileages for electric cars has been adjusted for the years 2015 and 2016 using the new model.

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