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Sweden’s Plugin EV Share At 59.4%, Volvo XC40 Back To Strength

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October saw Sweden’s plugin electric vehicle share reach 59.4% of the auto market, up from 50.1% year on year. Full electrics alone took 35.5% share, from 22.9% YoY. Overall auto volume was 22,383 units, 12% up YoY, though still some 25% down on pre-2020 seasonal norms. October’s best selling full electric was the Volvo XC40.

October’s combined plugin result of 59.4% comprised 35.5% full electrics (BEVs), and 23.8% plugin hybrids (PHEVs). Their respective shares a year ago were 22.9% and 28.0%.

October’s combined share was the second highest on record, following December 2021 (60.7%), boding well for a new record share by the end of this year.

In volume terms, BEV unit sales grew by a dramatic 74% YoY, whilst PHEVs shrank by 4%.

Traditional combustion-only powertrain volume fell by almost 21% YoY, to a new record low of 6,455 combined units. Their combined share also hit a record low, of 28.8%, lower than that of BEVs alone.

Best Selling BEVs

October saw the Volvo XC40 climb to take 1st spot, from 2nd last month. This after a recent sabbatical well outside the top 20, between June and August. The Volkswagen ID.4 took second, with the refreshed Kia Niro in third.

There were no notable new faces in the October results, except for one unit of the BYD Tang which may presage commercial volumes in the future (it’s already established in neighboring Norway). The Renault Megane saw its greatest monthly volume yet, with 171 units, gaining 18th spot.

Let’s now turn to the longer term trends:

The Volkswagen ID.4 again took the top spot in the trailing 3-month rankings, with the Volvo XC40 in second and Skoda Enyaq in third.

Here’s the summary of the main climbers compared to the May-to-July period:

Other models lost position:

As usual, many of the ranking changes reflect short-term regional allocation decisions, of limited production volumes, not necessarily significant changes in demand.


Sweden’s auto industry body, Mobility Sweden, notes that YTD auto volumes are still down 10% from 2021’s already-low baseline.

They say that “concerns are growing in the industry over increased energy prices, shortages of key components and reduced demand among consumers.” (Mobility Sweden, machine translation)

In terms of the near-term outlook, Mobility Sweden’s chief economist states that:

“The political and economic instability in the world contributes to continued major disruptions in the global supply chains, which in turn creates a large gap between orders and production in the automotive industry. There is also a shortage of important key components. The combination of production disruptions, increased energy prices, increased costs for input goods and transport, a weak krona and the general unrest affects the Swedish vehicle market with both longer delivery times and higher costs.

“In recent weeks, in the customer dialogue, we have seen a significant slowdown in demand, which is due to the macro situation. This, together with households’ gloomy view of their own finances, is a cloud of worry for the vehicle market.” (Sofia Linder, Chief Economist at Mobility Sweden, machine translation)

The long-term cost of ownership advantages of plugins have not gone away, and we can expect those (fewer) folks in the market for a new vehicle to continue to favour them, relative to combustion-only options.

Market share of plugins should therefore continue to steadily grow, although volume growth is another question, dependent on the state of supply chains, and consumers’ economic outlook.

I would expect to see December’s plugin share break a new record above 60%, though much will depend on the health of supply.

What are your thoughts on Sweden’s auto industry in its transition towards electric? Please join in the discussion in the comment section below.


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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, or contact him via LinkedIn.


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