The wealthiest bought 4 out of 10 EVs
The 10 per cent of households with the highest income bought 37 per cent of new electric cars in 2019. In the same year, the half with lowest incomes purchased a total of 10 per cent of first-time registered electric cars.
- Full set of figures
- Income and wealth statistics for households
- Registered vehicles
Of the approximately 74,000 privately owned new cars, nearly 46,000 were electric cars, and 28,000 were fossil cars. Information from the Ministry of Finance shows that electric car buyers were favoured with about NOK 11 billion distributed on exemption for value added tax and registration tax on motor vehicles in 2019. In comparison, the child benefit and the cash-for-care benefit together amounted to about NOK 17 billion. Consequently, the electric car policy had important distributional effects. The linking of data from the Register of motor vehicles and household income statistics describes how ownership of electric cars varies by income. We sorted households by size of household income into 10 equal groups called deciles:
- Decile 1: bottom 10 per cent
- Decile 2: 10-20 per cent
- Decile 3: 20-30 per cent
- Decile 4: 30-40 per cent
- Decile 5: 40-50 per cent
- Decile 6: 50-60 per cent
- Decile 7: 60-70 per cent
- Decile 8: 70-80 per cent
- Decile 9: 80-90 per cent
- Decile 10: top 10 per cent.
High-income households buy far more new cars than low-income households. In 2019, 8.5 per cent of households in Decile 10 purchased new cars compared to just 0.2 per cent of households in Decile 1. High-income households buy more electric cars than fossil cars while low-income households buy more fossil cars than electric cars. The results show that 3 out of 4 of the first-time registered cars in households with the highest household income were electric cars. Households in Decile 10 purchased 37 per cent of all first-time registered electric cars and 21 per cent of all first-time registered fossil cars. The bottom half of the deciles bought 10 per cent of electric cars and 22 per cent of fossil cars.
Figure 1. Number of first-time registered passenger cars, by household income. Foreign students and institutions excluded. 2019
|Electric cars||Diesel or petrol cars|
|Decile 1 (Bottom 10%)||304||163|
|Decile 2 (10-20%)||306||448|
|Decile 3 (20-30%)||644||1111|
|Decile 4 (30-40%)||1242||1649|
|Decile 5 (40-50%)||2044||2523|
|Decile 6 (50-60%)||3134||3428|
|Decile 7 (60-70%)||4479||3727|
|Decile 8 (70-80%)||6740||4109|
|Decile 9 (80-90%)||9835||4602|
|Decile 10 (Top 10%)||16686||5626|
In 2019, households in Decile 7 and upwards bought more electric cars than fossil cars. This implies increased distribution of electric cars. In 2018, households in deciles 1-8 purchased fewer electric cars than fossil cars while electric cars were the most bought in deciles 9 and 10. However, Decile 10 accounted for a larger proportion of all electric car purchases in 2019 than in 2018.
Every fifth car is electric in households with highest incomes
The proportion of owners of electric cars varies heavily by household income. In 2019, there were 39 times more electric cars in households grouped in Decile 10 than in Decile 1. However, the number of people in the 10 household groups is very different. The households with the highest income, Decile 10, accounted for three times as many people as Decile 1. With more adults in a household, there are also more potential car users. To achieve a more relevant comparison between income groups, we have looked at the number of electric cars per adult in households.
In 2019 there were 21 times more electric cars per adult in Decile 10 than in Decile 1. The total amount of cars per adult in households increased with increasing incomes, yet the number of fossil cars per adult was highest in Decile 7. Beginning with Decile 8 it is the rising number of electric cars that increases the total amount of cars per adult in households. In Decile 10, almost 18 per cent of cars have an electric motor compared to less than 4 per cent in the combined bottom five deciles.
Figure 2. Number of passenger cars per adult in households, by household income. Foreign students and institutions excluded. 2019
|Electric cars per adult in households||Diesel or petrol cars per adult in households|
|Decile 1 (Bottom 10%)||0.0059||0.2240|
|Decile 2 (10-20%)||0.0092||0.4106|
|Decile 3 (20-30%)||0.0169||0.5375|
|Decile 4 (30-40%)||0.0259||0.5758|
|Decile 5 (40-50%)||0.0334||0.5963|
|Decile 6 (50-60%)||0.0395||0.6105|
|Decile 7 (60-70%)||0.0526||0.6329|
|Decile 8 (70-80%)||0.0733||0.6327|
|Decile 9 (80-90%)||0.0949||0.6125|
|Decile 10 (Top 10%)||0.1246||0.5864|
The total amount of electric cars per adult in households increased by 32 per cent from 2018 to 2019. In Decile 1 the growth was the strongest while the number of EVs increased least in the top three deciles. From 2018 to 2019, the total amount of fossil cars per adult in households decreased by 1 per cent. In the three lowest deciles the number of fossil cars increased while ownership of a fossil car became less common in other deciles.
Funded by the Ministry of Transport
Geir Martin Pilskog
Statistics Norway's Information Centre