Plug-in vehicle sales in the Nordic countries have been soaring for over two years, setting one sales record after another. However, that trend stalled in the first quarter of this year, Insero reports.
In the first three months of 2018, 24,893 plug-in vehicles were sold in Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark, compared to 27,640 sold in the previous quarter. However, sales grew in comparison to the first quarter of 2017, and in fact March turned out to be the best-selling month of all time.
“Sales of electric vehicles are still positive when compared to the first quarter of 2017. This is merely the first time we experience a situation where the latest quarter has had worse sales than the previous,” explains Jens Christian Morell Lodberg Høj, Chief Innovator for E-mobility at Insero. “We should take this as a sign that the market is becoming more mature and not to expect explosive growth numbers from the large markets who dominate the Nordic region.”
The new next-gen Nissan LEAF is proving extremely popular – it sold 3,172 units, the largest quarterly figure ever recorded for a single model in the Nordic region. However, the market leader was Volvo, which sold 4,063 of its XC60 PHEV, claiming 16% of total Nordic plug-in sales and edging out VW, the previous quarter’s sales leader.
“The battle for the electric vehicle market is tough – it is difficult to predict if Volvo can maintain their position as market leader in the following quarter,” said Høj. “It is incredibly close between Volvo and Volkswagen, however with the large growth in the Danish plug-in hybrid segment it is not unlikely that Kia will rise to the surface.”
Sales are still growing in Denmark, cracking the 1,000-sale mark for the first time this quarter. The Danes prefer PHEVs, which took 80% of total sales. “Danish sales have taken a significant step towards comparison countries such as Finland and Sweden,” says Høj. “We should expect the division between plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery electric vehicles in Denmark to remain the same for the two quarters. This is due to the latest change in the registration tax which has not affected the price of battery electric vehicles.
Image: Elbilforeningen (CC BY 2.0)