It's only a small, but significant one.
Since it launched in the European market, Norway has bought more Teslas than any other country in the bloc, 10,000 finding buyers. That is, in part at least, due to the Norwegian government’s generous subsidies for electric cars, which go a long towards offsetting the massive import duties it imposes on cars.
The UK government also provides subsidies on ‘plug-in’ cars, including a grant that knocks £4500 ($6000) off the sticker price of any electric or hybrid car. While the 15-unit difference between Norwegian and UK sales in the first six months of 2016 is a statistical irrelevance, it’s more instructive to look at the relative growth of sales in the two countries.
Sales in Norway actually fell 50 per cent over same period last year, down from 2674 units. By contrast, sales in the UK grew by a whopping 250 per cent, up from 349 units.
Until a few weeks ago, I lived not far from Tesla’s main UK sales and service hub at London Heathrow and can did notice a huge increase in the number of Teslas on the road. Within the last two years or so, the number of Tesla Stores around the UK has grown considerably, as has the network of Supercharger stations which now stretches from the south coast all the way up to Edinburgh in Scotland.
Sales of 'alternative fuel vehicles' generally are booming in the UK at the moment. In the year to the end of August, 53,902 had been sold. That represents growth of 22 per cent over the same period last year, and a 3.2 per cent share of the total market.
Norway is expected to regain its place at the top of Tesla's European sales charts by the end of the year as deliveries of the Model X SUV commence. Right-hand-drive examples won't start arriving in the UK until a few months later.