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Tesla Model S sales set a record in Norway

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Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters/File

(Read caption) A Tesla Model S electric car is displayed during a media preview day at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

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In the last few years of electric car sales, the only records cars have been breaking are their own.

Nissan, for example, has just had its best March ever for Leaf sales. And we know that global electric car sales have doubled each year for the past few years.

But now, reports The Wall Street Journal, one electric car has broken an all-time sales record in electric-car friendly Norway. And perhaps unsurprisingly, that car is Tesla's Model S.

Tesla sold 1,493 Model S vehicles in March. On its own that's a fairly small number, but Norway is--in terms of population, rather than landmass--a fairly small country of just 5 million people.

March Model S sales are almost three times the monthly average for a sales leader--Nissan sold 484 Leafs in February, by comparison, and March 2013's leader was the Volkswagen Golf, with 555 units. Norway's second-highest selling car in March was the Golf again, with 624 deliveries.

Tesla's record beats the country's previous sales record, set by Ford in 1986. One month that year, Ford sold 1,454 examples of its Sierra sedan, the marque's midsize offering in Europe at the time.

Despite Norway's small population, Tesla Motors has set up four dealerships in the country, capitalizing on the heavy incentives offered to Norway's drivers to go electric.

Everything from sales tax exemptions, widespread public charging and free parking is offered, and the country's tax breaks mean cars like the Nissan Leaf cost less than some conventionally-powered rivals.

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Several times over the past few months, electric vehicles have topped the country's sales charts.

In November, a full 12 percent of Norway's car sales were electric vehicles--a factor of hundreds greater than many other markets.

While Tesla's operations in Norway haven't been entirely trouble-free, this month's sales figures show how important the small Nordic country is to electric car makers--and why we may be seeing more sales records broken in the future.


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