May 2023 – Tesla Model Y conquers Sweden

Tesla Model Y with mountains
Tesla Model Y with mountains

Plugin electric vehicles saw strong year on year growth in market share in Sweden, taking 61.9% of the market, from 47.5% in May 2022. Full electrics carried all of the growth, alone accounting for 40.9% share, with plugin hybrids slightly losing share YoY. Overall auto volume was 28,492 units, up some 8% YoY, though year to date volume remains some 5% down compared to 2022. The best selling car in May was the Tesla Model Y.

May’s combined plugin result of 61.9% comprised 40.9% full electrics (BEVs), and 21% plugin hybrids (PHEVs). These compare with figures of 47.5%, 24,2%, and 23.3% a year ago.  We can see that BEVs have grown strongly whilst PHEVs have slightly declined.

Combustion-only powertrains have fallen from 42.6% a year ago, to 28.9% last month. Diesel has had a particularly steep decline, from 15.1% to 8.4%.

Looking at volumes, BEVs came close to doubling YoY, while PHEV lost about 2% volume.

We can expect another strong month for plugins in June, with BEVs alone likely approaching 50% share of the market.

Bestsellers

As we have just seen for neighbouring Norway, Tesla is no longer only shipping large volumes in the last month of each quarter. May saw the Model Y delivering 1,903 units, its second best monthly result ever (after 3,202 units in March).

Local hero the Volvo XC40 came in second with 1,041 units, with the Volkswagen ID.4 in third, at 837 units.

Two other local models, the Polestar 2, and the Volvo C40 filled out the top 5 spots.

Further back, the Audi Q4 e-tron saw its best monthly performance in a couple of years, with 387 units, taking 8th spot.

Similar to what we have just seen in Norway, decent growth trends were seen for the Toyota BZ4X (#13) and the MG4 (#15), both seeing record Swedish volumes in May. Let’s see how far up the rankings these models can climb. The BZ4X’s recent software unlocks (improved battery and charging specs) make it more attractive than previously.

Interestingly, the MG5 estate/tourer is actually selling at even more volume than the MG4 in Sweden. So far as I know this is the only market where it is ahead of its younger sibling (let us know in the comments if you know different). It seems that the Swedes recognize the utility of this classic vehicle format, and the great value of the MG5.

There were no new BEV entrants into the Swedish market in May.

Now to the 3 month view:

Here the Tesla Model Y is similarly dominant, at close to twice the volume of its nearest competitor (the Volvo XC40).

Having launched in Sweden only in March, the Toyota BZ4X saw the biggest moves, going from nowhere to #17. There was no other significant news in the top 20.

Further back, the Volkswagen ID.Buzz has done well since its first volume deliverers in November, and has now climbed to #25 position. Any bets on whether it has the demand momentum (or perhaps that should be… the supply volume) to break into the top 20?

 

Outlook

 

Auto industry body Mobility Sweden is still concerned about weakening order books for BEVs, after incentives were cut last November. They fear that, after the backlog of pre-November orders is worked through (in the coming few months), BEV registration volumes will show noticeable decline.

Whether these fears will be realised remains to be seen. Certainly Tesla’s vehicles are still selling well, and (judging by the two months delivery wait) it would appear that many have continued to be ordered even after the November incentive cut. Let me know if you have a different take.

Mobility Sweden notes that a large chunk of auto demand has now switched away from private consumer purchases to business fleet purchases. Tesla is playing ball, with its Model Y splash page highlighting business leasing packages.

We will have to wait another 3 or 4 months to see how Sweden’s auto market resettling plays out. I am hopeful that savvy purchasers (whether businesses or private consumers) will still be able to take the long view, and bet on the total-cost-of-ownership advantage of BEVs.

What are your thoughts on Sweden’s near term auto market prospects, and EV transition? If you have anecdotal evidence of a change in orders since the incentive cut, please let us know in the comments below.

Dr. Maximilian Holland

Dr. Maximilian Holland is an anthropologist, social theorist and international political economist, trying to ask questions and encourage critical thinking about social and environmental justice, sustainability and the human condition. He has lived and worked in Europe and Asia, and is currently based in Barcelona.

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