in Electric vehicles

Iceland 2021 Electric Car Sales and PHEV Sales

55% of new cars sold last year were plug-in electric.

Photo: Jakob Härter

BEVs (all-electric cars) were 28% of the market while PHEVs were 27%, bringing the total market share of plug-in cars to 55%.

For comparison, in 2020 these figures were 25%, 20% and 45%, respectively.

Tesla was the best-selling brand of plug-in cars (although not the best-selling brand overall – that is Kia). It actually sold more vehicles than the last year, but its share of the overall car market (8%) and of the plug-in car market (15%) are both lower than in the previous year, as these markets expanded a lot.

And, as Tesla’s sales were no longer dominated by the Model 3, but more or less evenly divided between the Model 3 and the Model Y, the best-selling car in Iceland (plug-in or not) is no longer a Tesla. The Model 3 topped the statistics in 2020, but in 2021 it was dethroned by the Toyota RAV4, with the two Teslas taking the rest of the podium.

And here are the statistics for plug-in cars only:

Top 3 all-electric cars (2021):
1. Tesla Model Y (537 units)
2. Tesla Model 3 (509 units)
3. Kia Niro EV (298 units)

The Nissan Leaf took the fourth place with 206 units – but, in addition to these new cars, there were a lot of used imports (more about that later).

Top 3 plug-in hybrid cars (2021):
1. Hyundai Tucson PHEV (341 units)
2. Kia Ceed PHEV (218 units)
3. Volvo XC60 (199 units)

Note: Statistics in this article (so far) cover only registrations of new (not used) passenger cars. The definition of a car for the purpose of these statistics includes minivans, passenger vans, crossovers, SUVs and serious 4WD vehicles like the Toyota Land Cruiser, but not cargo vehicles. When a vehicle is sold both as a cargo vehicle and as a passenger vehicle (e.g. the Nissan e-NV200), these statistics include only the passenger variant.

Used cars and “used” cars

Interestingly, among used cars/SUVs registered for the first time in Iceland last year (so, used imports) – still only passenger vehicles, excluding cargo vehicles - the share of plug-in vehicles is about 72%.

That’s right, higher than among new cars/SUVs. Most of them are PHEVs, not all-electrics.

The three most popular models, among these used imports, are the Outlander PHEV, the Leaf and the Tucson PHEV. As for the Tucson PHEV, which appeared on the European market in 2021, it is quite obvious that, despite showing up in the statistics as “used”, these SUVs are brand new vehicles. There were 269 such units registered in Iceland last year, a lot for a country with such a small population.

I recall something similar – a significant number of practically new plug-in cars showing up in statistics as “used” because they did not come via official distributors – happening in Norway.

In Iceland, counting used imports together with new cars changes the statistics a lot. The best-selling car/SUV overall in now the Tucson (744 units, including 610 PHEVs), followed by the RAV4 (638 units, including 121 PHEVs) and the Outlander (589 units, including, well, 589 PHEVs).

And statistics for plug-in cars now look like this:

Top 3 all-electric cars (2021, including used imports):
1. Tesla Model Y (539 units)
2. Tesla Model 3 (509 units)
3. Nissan Leaf (483 units)

Top 3 plug-in hybrid cars (2021, including used imports):
1. Hyundai Tucson PHEV (610 units)
2. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (589 units)
3. Volvo XC60 (241 units)


Source: [1]

Thanks to for providing the statistics.