Sweden’s Plugin EV Share Keeps Growing, Up 22% YoY

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May saw Sweden’s plugin electric vehicles take 47.5% market share, up from 39.0% YoY. Overall auto market volume was 26,375 units, was 9% up YoY, though still 9% down from seasonal norms. Sweden’s best selling BEV in May was the Volkswagen ID.4.

Market Share Trends

May’s combined plugin result of 47.5% consisted of 24.2% full battery electrics (BEVs), and 23.4% plugin hybrids (PHEVs). This is up YoY from 22.2% and 20.8%, respectively.

Since June 1st onwards sees combustion-only vehicle becoming more costly in Sweden (via malus taxes), these powertrains got a slight boost from pull-forward sales in May. Diesels fractionally increased their share YoY, from 14.9% to 15.1%, and petrols also outperformed recent trends. The next few months, particularly June, will see a corresponding drop off in these powertrains.

Tesla’s Shanghai factory — a huge supplier of BEVs to Europe — paused for lockdowns over much of March, April and May, affecting Europe’s deliveries until at least June-July, and thus the region’s overall plugin results.

We may now have to wait for August or September before plugin share in Sweden is back in the 60% zone it reached last December.

Best Sellers

The Volkswagen ID.4 was the best selling BEV in May, with the Kia Niro in #2 and the Skoda Enyaq in #3.

The top 5 ranks for May are filled out by the Swedish homegrown Volvo XC40 and Polestar 2.

Other notable monthly performances are from the MG Marvel R, at its highest ever position in #8. Likewise the Cupra Born scored a personal best in #13, and the BMW i4 gained #16 spot, its best rank yet.


In the broader trailing quarter view, the top 3 spots are unchanged from the previous period ending in February. What are the notable changes since then?

  • The Renault Zoe has dropped from 5th to 23rd, a dramatic disappearance
  • The Volvo XC40 and Polestar 2 have climbed a bit, nudging down the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model 3
  • The Hyundai Ioniq 5, previous in #9 has dropped to #36, whilst its sibling Kia EV6 has climbed from #10 to #7 (obviously a strategic decision by Hyundai Motor Group)
  • The Audi Q4 e-tron has climbed from #15 to #11
  • The Cupra Born and MG Marvel R are now climbing up the top 20 (from invisible previously)

Many of the specific rank positions are the result of (temporary) market allocation shuffling, and don’t necessarily directly reflect demand levels. Many folks are waiting at least 12 months for their BEV, so supply is not keeping up with demand, across the board.

Worth repeating — Tesla’s Shanghai factory has seen several pandemic lockdowns over the past 3 months and thus Tesla’s European delivery performance won’t return to its previous trajectory until (at least) the July to September period. Tesla’s results until then are uncharacteristic and not a good basis for serious analysis. Tesla Brandenburg is still ramping and isn’t expected move the needle much until the end of this year, at the earliest.

Sweden’s fleet data is only updated annually, look at last month’s report for a discussion of the direction of travel of the overall fleet.


As mentioned above, I would expect plugins to regain 60% market share by September at the latest, if we could assume no other great disruptions meanwhile. That may not a reliable assumption given current political and economic uncertainties in Europe.

Nevertheless, to the extent that instabilities continue, they will reliably result in higher road-fuel prices, and this in turn will encourage more folks to consider plugins, boosting their share of demand.

Supply of plugins is always playing catch up with demand, but folks will anyway increasing turn away from buying new plugless vehicles, even if that requires waiting patiently for their new car delivery.

What do you think? Please jump in to the discussion below, and share your insights.


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Dr. Maximilian Holland

Max is an anthropologist, social theorist and international political economist, trying to ask questions and encourage critical thinking. He has lived and worked in Europe and Asia, and is currently based in Barcelona. Find Max's book on social theory, follow Max on twitter @Dr_Maximilian and at MaximilianHolland.com, or contact him via LinkedIn.

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