The Kingdom of Norway is now the Kingdom of Tesla, at least as far as the number of electric vehicles (EVs) go.

Some six in 10 cars sold in Norway during March were full EVs, and the arrival that same month of the first Tesla Model 3 luxury, all-electric four-door executive cars triggered this historic record. The Model 3 accounted for 29 percent of new EV sales in March and was the best selling EV. The Nissan Leaf electric car was Norway’s top-selling car in 2018.

In March, the Model 3 along with the Model S and Model X, combined for sales of 5,822 cars, corresponding to a 31.7 percent market share of the Norwegian EV market. Tesla, in 2018, hired more than 360 people (more than doubling its service staff) to help meet rising demand for service and repairs.

“We are growing as fast as physically possible to address the service issues, and are absolutely on track to solve these issues,” said Tesla.

The Norwegian Road Federation (NRF) said the spike in the number of EVs sold is a global record in a country that will stop selling fossil-fueled vehicles by 2025. The EV sales figures for March also cement Norway’s global lead in EV sales per capita.

In 2018, Norway’s sales of full EVs rose to a record 31.2 percent market share from 20.8 percent in 2017, far ahead of any other country. The growing popularity of EVs means Norwegian buyers have to wait while producers such as Tesla struggle to meet surging demand.

The Model 3 retails for $51,400 (NOK442,000) in Norway. Audi has begun deliveries to Norway of its e-tron sports utility vehicle carrying a sticker price of $76,000 (NOK652,000).

Tesla Model S in Norway A Tesla Model S leaves a Tesla service center in Oslo, Norway. The Model S became the top selling electric car in Norway in March 2019. Photo: PIERRE-HENRY DESHAYES/AFP/Getty Images

The International Energy Agency (IEA), which includes plug-in hybrids when calculating electric car sales, measured Norway’s share of such cars at 39 percent in 2017. This percentage is way ahead of second-placed Iceland with 12 percent and Sweden, 6 percent.

“We are pretty sure we are going to reach 50 percent market share in total this year,” said Christina Bu, Secretary General of the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association (NEV). “Maybe even pass it, which is pretty amazing.’

Cars that rely solely on gasoline or diesel internal combustion engines with no hybrid electric unit had a market share of only 22.7 percent in March, the lowest on record.