After Tesla's record year in Norway, rivals gear up for 2020

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© Reuters. An electric Mustang Mach-E car is displayed during its launch in Oslo© Reuters. An electric Mustang Mach-E car is displayed during its launch in Oslo

OSLO (Reuters) – The sale of new electric cars in Norway rose by 30.9% last year amid soaring demand for Tesla Inc’s (O:) vehicles, but the pioneering U.S. firm faces rising competition from rival auto makers in 2020.

Fully electric cars made up 42.4% of sales in the Nordic nation last year, a global record, rising from a 31.2% market share in 2018 and just 5.5% in 2013, the Norwegian Road Federation said on Friday.

Seeking to become the first country to end the sale of fossil-fueled cars by 2025, Norway exempts battery-powered vehicles from the taxes imposed on petrol and diesel engines.

This year, as many as six in 10 of all new cars sold in the country could be fully electric, said Volkswagen (VW) (DE:) distributor Harald A. Moeller AS, which is preparing to launch several models in 2020.

“The electrification of the car market is accelerating … we forecast electric vehicles to hold a 100% market share in 2025,” the importer said of the outlook for Norway.

The country’s best-selling car in 2019 was Tesla’s mid-sized Model 3 sedan, which retails from 384,900 Norwegian crowns ($43,721.74), racking up an 11% market share in the California-based firm’s first attempt at addressing the mass market.

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