The new technology of battery electric vehicles is slowly picking up pace worldwide. The uptake has grown tremendously in Europe, especially Sweden, with the number of electric car registrations between 2018 and 2021 tripling. This comes as Sweden signed a new climate change bill that pushes for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the transport industry by 70% by 2030.
As of November 2021, Sweden’s plugin electric vehicle market remained well above 50%, gaining a total of 54.3% share. Full battery electrics (BEVs) took up 26.0%, while plugin hybrids (PHEVs) took up 28.3% share. Volkswagen ID.4 was the most popular full-electric vehicle in Sweden in November. While this pathway is still approximately two years behind the market leader, Norway, Sweden expects to achieve 90% plugin before the end of 2023 and a lot faster than Norway took.
The Inevitable Technological Revolution in the Automotive Industry
Our prediction may sound bold, but we believe that we are currently in the middle of the biggest revolution in the automotive industry. Many industry observers and carmakers believe that the point where electric vehicles (EVs) sales begin to overwhelm diesel and petrol cars is here with us. For example, premium car manufacturers like Jaguar, Lotus, and Volvo plan to sell only electric vehicles from 2025, 2028, and 2030.
Other top car manufacturers have followed suit too, as many governments worldwide set targets on the ban of diesel and petrol vehicles. General Motors plans to be making electric vehicles only by 2035, Ford will only sell electric cars in Europe by 2030, and VW says all its sales by 2030 will be electric.
By our reckoning, the technological revolution in the motoring industry is inevitable, and it will be definitely electric. This means the end of the internal combustion engine, not gradually, but in an explosive, disruptive way that most technologists refer to as the S-curve pattern. We’d say that EVs are currently at the shallow sloping bottom end and growing exponentially on the S-curve.
Best Selling EVs in Sweden
In November 2021, these were the bestselling EV brands and models in Sweden’s auto market.
By brand: Kia has hit the pole position to lead with a substantial 12.7% share for the first time. Volkswagen, who had dominated the market for five months in a row, settled for 2nd place with an 11.2% share. Volvo came in 3rd with a 9.2 % share, Tesla #4 with 8.7% share, Ford at #5 with 5.2% share, with MG following slightly behind with a 5.2 share.
By model: Kia Niro takes the #1 spot with a 5.4% share, Tesla Model Y came #2 on 13 units below Kia Niro with a 5.4% share. Kia Ceed would come in at the #3 spot, Volvo S/V60 at #4, MG ZS at #5, Tesla Model 3 at #6, VW ID.4 ranked #7.
Reasons Behind the Exponential Growth of EVs in Sweden
- The European Union set some stringent laws on CO2 emissions in January 2020. The need for vehicle manufacturers to comply with these standards has seen them rush to make new compliant passenger vans and cars.
- Government incentives and subsidies have greatly encouraged the adoption of electric vehicles in Sweden. The bonus-malus system has everyone that buys cars whose CO2 emissions are under 60 g/km gets a climate bonus of up to 60,000 SEK (6,000 euros).
- Technological advancements and mass production of EV batteries, one of the most expensive components of EVs, have seen their cost of manufacturing decrease. The reduction in the cost of EV batteries has dramatically helped bring down the price of EVs. The price is expected to even go lower by 2030 when EV batteries are estimated to be around USD 60 per kWh.
- Charging infrastructure for EVs is increasing alongside EV sales. Today, there are over 6,000 charging stations, and the number of fast-charging stations has been on the rise too, which is impressive coming from barely 500 stations in 2012.
- The ‘Klimatklivet’ incentive funds regional and local investment projects by businesses and public associations that aim at reducing CO2 emissions by up to 50% of the project cost. The grant covers both public and non-public charging stations, meeting 50% of the charging station and installation cost to a maximum of SEK 10,000 per property. Individuals with the right to install charging stations on private property also get subsidies under the ‘Charge at Home’ incentive.
EVs are Growing Up
Between 2010 and 2020, there have been some significant changes in electric cars. BEV’S average mass has increased from 1200kg to 1723 kg, and the average energy consumption reduced to 170 kWh from 264 kWh to becoming more efficient. PHEVs are slightly heavier, too, with their average mass increasing to 1930kg from 1580kg, but their energy consumption has been a constant 170 kWh. These, together with government incentives, are some of the reasons that have seen the plugin share go up.