Tesla Motors sold 1,493 Model S sedans in Norway last month, breaking the Scandinavian country’s all-time vehicle sales record, The Wall Street Journal reports. This was more than double its typical monthly sales in Norway and well in excess of volumes typical for the top monthly seller in that market, according to registrations reported by Norwegian transportation officials.
The electric vehicle (EV) company’s March performance topped Norway's previous single-market record, dating back to 1986 when Ford sold 1,454 Sierra sedans in one month. In 1992, Subaru's Forrester fell just short of that with 1,328.
Tesla, along with Nissan and Mitsubishi, has targeted Norway as one of the most important markets for EVs in the world. The country uses much of its oil and gas wealth to promote the adoption of sustainable technology. For instance, Norwegians receive significant tax incentives for owning EVs. Throughout Norway, there are several EV charging stations where drivers can charge their vehicles for free. Many municipalities also allow alternative vehicles access to high-speed driving lanes or free charging and parking in city lots.
The Nissan Leaf was Norway's top seller in February, with sales reaching 484 cars, WSJ reports. Volkswagen sold 555 Golfs in March 2013, making it the top seller during that month.
Tesla currently has four dealers in Norway, including two in Oslo and two more on the west coast. Shortly after going on sale in September, Tesla soon became one of the country’s best-selling vehicles.
Last year, the Tesla Model S received a five-star safety rating in every subcategory from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), making it part of the one percent of all vehicles tested by the federal government to achieve a perfect score. While NHTSA does not publish a star rating above 5, safety levels better than five stars are captured in the overall Vehicle Safety Score (VSS) provided to manufacturers, where the Model S achieved a new combined record of 5.4 stars.
Tesla also introduced a new system that allows battery packs in electric vehicles to be swapped in roughly 90 seconds. The battery pack swaps will cost between $60 and $80. Based on current gasoline prices, this is about the same a 15-gallon gas tank. The stations will each cost about $500,000 to build and will be placed alongside Tesla’s fast-charging stations. The free fast-charge stations can charge a battery in about 30 minutes.