It Has Begun: Hyundai Stops Selling Combustion Vehicles in Norway, Effective Jan 1, 2023

For years, people were told that someday, there wouldn’t be any ICE vehicles selling in select markets, and everything would run on electricity. That day has come for Hyundai in Norway, as the Korean carmaker announced that it will only sell all-electric vehicles starting January 1st, 2023.
Hyundai will stop selling combustion vehicles in Norway 6 photos
Photo: Hyundai
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No matter how hard it is for some people to accept, electric vehicles are set to replace combustion vehicles in most market segments. There are already deadlines announced in certain countries and territories, mostly in Europe and North America. In many cases, the ICE-vehicle bans come into effect in 2040, 2035, or even 2030. Even the latter seems like a distant future for most people, so not many made a fuss about that. Nevertheless, despite the synergies of 2022, things are happening faster than predicted.

Hyundai has already announced that it wouldn’t sell ICE vehicles in Norway once the champagne pops at the beginning of the New Year. This marks a first for a traditional carmaker, still making the biggest chunk of its profits from selling ICE vehicles. We admit the Norwegian market is special because the percentage of electric cars sold in the country is already above 80 percent, according to the latest statistics. Hyundai, for its part, has 93 percent of its Norwegian sales powered by batteries. This makes it a no-brainer to stop selling ICE vehicles altogether in the country.

Hyundai has had great success in Norway with its Ioniq Electric launched in 2016 and Kona EV in 2018. Kona was the first affordable EV in Norway to offer long-range travel in a crossover form. With the launch of the Ioniq 5 in 2021 and the Ioniq 6 this year, Hyundai has seen EV sales increase exponentially. The Ioniq 5 quickly became, next to the Kona EV, one of the most popular cars sold in Norway, placing fifth by sales this year, thanks to an even longer range than the Kona EV and ultra-fast charging.

The success has prompted Hyundai to consider stopping the sales of combustion cars. The move comes after another bold decision, taken two years ago, to only sell plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles in Norway. The Tucson PHEV and Santa Fe PHEV played well in gaining market share for Hyundai, but the time has come to move on and ditch the internal combustion engine altogether. Hyundai decided that the last plug-in hybrid vehicles will be sold this week.

With the launch of the second-generation Kona EV, Hyundai thinks plug-in hybrids are no longer necessary to meet their sales-volume goals. Thanks to the E-GMP platform, the new Kona EV offers the same 800-volt electrical system as the award-winning Ioniq 5, arguably in a more affordable and practical package than its bigger brother. With Norway, Hyundai sets a powerful example for other traditional carmakers that pledged to go all in with electric vehicles, only to be stalling for time.
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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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