The California-based electric-vehicle maker, which is planning a massive Gigafactory battery plant in the US as it prepares to unveil a lower-priced model, sold 1,493 Model S sedans in Norway last month. The sales total more than doubled the No. 2 selling Volkswagen Golf (624 units) and beat a 28-year-old monthly sales record set by the Ford Sierra (1,454 vehicles). And March marked the second straight month an electric vehicle took Norway's best-selling crown, which was won by Nissan for its Leaf in February.
That's heady stuff, and it gets headier when you factor in Norway's population of only about 5.1 million people. That means that on a per-capita basis, that'd be like Tesla selling about 94,000 Model S vehicles in a month in the US. By comparison, Ford sold "only" about 71,000 of its best-selling F-Series trucks last month.
With cheap and abundant hydroelectric power, Norway heaps lots of incentives for its EV buyers, including perks such as free parking, an extensive recharging network, use of bus lanes and free ferries and road tolls. With EV subsidies tallied at about $8,000 per vehicle, the country reportedly may reach its limit of providing incentives for 50,000 EVs by mid-2015, or about two-and-a-half years ahead of schedule. And for that, Norwegians, blame Tesla.