On 7 June, the first batch of 328 electric Maxus EV30 vans produced by Chinese automaker SAIC Motor, was loaded on board Höegh Asia in Shanghai. The electric vans will be transported to Norway, a market that has seen a tremendous growth in recent years in electric vehicle (EV) sales. Last year, Norway made up 56 percent of Europe’s total new energy vehicle sales.
Environmental initiatives drive electric vehicle sales in Norway
Today, unit sales of electric vehicles in China and the U.S. are far higher; however, Norway has far more EVs on its roads as a proportion of total vehicles than anywhere else in the world. The drive for electric vehicles is primarily due to the Norwegian government setting a series of incentives to promote the adoption of zero emission vehicles (ZEVs).
In 2016, the Norwegian government set an ambitious target that all new cars, buses and light commercial vehicles in 2025 should be zero emission vehicles. Since then, the country has seen an increase in EV sales over the years; in 2019, the market share for battery electric vehicles (BEV) in the new car sale in Norway reached 42 percent, up from 31% in 2018.
SAIC Motor sees opportunity in Europe
Chinese SAIC Motor (formerly Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporations) sees the electrification gap as a major market opportunity. The company is the largest car manufacturer in China and the seventh largest in the world, producing approximately 6.9 million cars annually. SAIC Motors is the first Chinese electric vehicle brand to enter Europe’s small and mid-sized market segment and SAIC Motor wants to grow in the European market.
Norway has the highest share of new energy vehicle sales on the continent, and SAIC Motor has adapted its Maxus EV model to local conditions, such as adjusting the wheel spacing and adding a battery pack heating function to suit the cold local environment.
Oskar Orstadius, Head of Sales East Asia explains, “We are proud to support SAIC Motor in transporting the electric Maxus vans to the Norwegian market. With sustainability in focus, the new energy vehicle market is predicted to increase worldwide and we look forward to supporting SAIC motor Company in transporting their vehicles on our global ocean services.”