Tesla Model S now Norway's best-selling car, and at a higher price

Daniel Bean
Yahoo News
FILE - In this June 22, 2012 file photo shows a Tesla Model S driving outside the Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif. Shares of Tesla Motors are down another 5 percent as investors in the high-flying company assess the fallout from a fire in one of its $70,000 electric cars. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, file)

Norway's got a new king of the road.

Tesla Motor's Model S sedan is now the best selling car in Norway, accounting for over 5.1 percent of the market. It knocked the Volkswagen Golf down a notch, now at number two with 4.6 percent, according to Reuters.

Though the Model S sells for just over $60,000 in the United States, the price tag in Norway is the equivalent of $110,000, and because of high demand right now, they're typically about $20,000 more on the second-market. So why has Norway fallen so hard for Tesla?

While Californians seem to be ordering Tesla cars at a nice rate, Norwegians really can't get them quick enough. Norway's unique government subsidized car market makes the Model S especially appealing: Norwegian owners of electric cars are provided with free parking, free charging at stations throughout the country, use of express highway lanes and exemption from toll fares. On the other hand, large taxes are levied on those that choose to buy gas-guzzlers, so the migration to EV cars makes sense for the citizenry, even at the higher-than-U.S. cost.

The numbers out of Norway come at a "hot" time for Tesla. After a video showing a Model S in flames on a Washington state highway began circulating online last week, the company's stock took a hit, falling over 6 percent in a day. It was said that the fire from the video was caused by the car's battery.

CEO Elon Musk explained in a company blog that investigators found the fire was a result of the car "driving over large, oddly-shaped metal object which impacted the leading edge of the vehicle's undercarriage." The fire began in the front battery module after it was impacted, according to Musk.

"Had a conventional gasoline car encountered the same object on the highway, the result could have been far worse," Musk wrote.

Business Insider reports that the company's value is still at about 434 percent above where it was this time last year. And if the Model S catches on in America like it has in Norway -- well, Tesla might just need a bigger factory.