The Swedish automotive market saw plug-in electric vehicles take a 55.6% share in March 2022, up substantially from 37% year-on-year. The all-electric alone took almost a third of the market, at 31.8%. Overall auto volumes were 28,706 units, down 16.6% from pre-pandemic seasonal norms.
The combined March plug-in result of 55.6% included 31.8% full battery electric (BEV) and 23.7% plug-in hybrid (PHEV). March’s combined plugin share was second only to last December’s peak (60.7%) and bodes well for 2022. Plugin share in the last quarter is 53.6%, down from 35 .6% YoY. Of this amount, 28.3% are BEV, compared to a very modest 5.7% year-on-year (just before the incentive structures were radically changed from April 2021).
The combined share of combustion only (gasoline and diesel) was at a near-record high of 34.2% (compared to December’s record of 32.2%).
Sweden’s favorite BEVs
March saw no big surprises, with Tesla hitting its usual end-of-quarter delivery peak, with the Y-model now firmly in the lead Model 3. Temporarily removed from their usual lead, the Volkswagen ID.4 and Kia Niro took 3rd and 4th place in March.
Just outside the top 20, three relative newcomers are worth noting. In 21st place, with 94 units, the lowered Volvo XC40, coupe/sedan brother of the VolvoC40 (nearly identical platform and powertrain) fell a few spots from last month, but actually increased its monthly volume by 36%, and will soon be a regular face in the top 20.
In 22nd place, the great value MG5 wagon delivered its first Swedish vehicles (92 units). The latest entrant to the VW Group MEB platform market, the Birth of Cupra also started delivering significant volumes (72 units, in 26th place).
For the last quarter, long-term favorites Kia Niro and ID.4 are still in the lead, although now the Tesla Model Y has replaced the Tesla Model 3 in 3rd place. Local heroes Volvo XC40 and Polestar 2 fill out the top 5. There are no significant surprises in the rest of the table, most of the faces are the same as we’ve seen in recent months.
After a delay for the past few months, the Swedish government has now filled the budget pot to settle the plugin incentives, giving buyers confidence that their expenses will be quickly reimbursed, rather than waiting forever.
industry association Mobility Sweden (formerly BIL Sweden), reports that existing problems in the European automotive supply chain (particularly around chips) have been compounded by the Ukraine crisis, via a disruption in the component supply chain, a disruption in the raw material supply and energy price shocks. This will reduce the available automotive market volume in 2022. General economic inflation, particularly around energy, transport and food prices, and subsequent consumer budget issues, may also weigh on market sentiment. and automotive demand.
The plugins have the advantage of allowing owners to avoid dramatic increases in road fuel prices, which will boost their demand for combustion vehicles. However, plugin supply chains are also facing disruption and, given their high sticker price, the overall economic hardship for consumers will affect their demand, in absolute terms. They should nevertheless take their share of sales of new thermal vehicles, even if the absolute volume of sales is not spectacular compared to last year.
Since many of Sweden’s best-selling BEVs are currently made in Asia (Tesla, Kia, Hyundai, Volvo and Polestar), their supply chains for components, materials and energy might be a bit less disrupted. (but are not immune to it).
Unfortunately for Europeans, any lasting energy price shock (and commodity disruption and overall inflation shock) in Europe will not help international OEMs locate their manufacturing in Europe. Especially not in the automotive sector and other heavy industrial manufacturing sectors that require large amounts of energy and raw materials, which are now much more expensive in the region.
Given the current uncertainties, it is difficult to predict the automotive market over the next few months. In general, as noted above, plugins will be more heavily favored by consumers of new vehicles, over combustion vehicles, which should accelerate their pursuit. share growth this year, even if their absolute value volume growth is duller, even flat.
What do you think of the outlook for the Swedish car market? Please join the conversation in the comments.
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