Huge drop in the sales of new electric cars

An electric car charging.

An electric car charging. mbl.is/Árni Sæberg

Close to 50% fewer electric cars have been sold in Iceland since the turn of the year than in the same period last year. This compares to passenger car sales as of February 16. Furthermore, sales in gasoline and diesel cars have fallen by 45% in the same period.

This is stated in the Brimborg analysis of the figures from the Icelandic Transport Authority. According to the analysis, sales of electric cars have collapsed in all categories, whether it is in terms of sales to individuals, companies, or car rentals.

“This was all foreseen. It was pointed out and warned about, but it was not listened to, and now we are in this situation,” says Egill Jóhansson, the director of Brimborg, about the impact of higher taxes on sales.

Increased taxes have an impact

A kilometer-rate charge was imposed on electric cars at the turn of the year, and according to Egill, this is not the only reason behind the crash, but the combined effects of eight measures against energy-exchange in the last two years are showing up.

CEO of BL Brynjar Elefsen Óskarsson says the car dealership has expected a 15-20% year-on-year decline in electric car sales. Tax hikes will have an impact, but more issues factor in.

“I think the kilometer fee has also been a factor. There’s no doubt about that, but then there are external factors that are also causing disruption, and perhaps most of all. These are high-interest rates and the fact that wage agreements have not been finalised. So I think many factors are involved, and there was a lot of sales towards the end of last year when these changes were on the horizon,” says Óskarsson about the reasons for the decrease in sales.

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