Electric car boom in Sweden
In March 2020, about one in ten new cars bought in Sweden were completely electric, while a further 17% were plug-in hybrid vehicles – this was an increase (from 2019) of 43% for the former, and 107% for the latter. By June of 2021, however, sales of electric cars had increased massively – every second car sold in the country was electric. Sweden now has the largest proportion of electric cars in the entire EU.
There are many reasons as to why more and more consumers are choosing to buy electric cars or plug-in hybrids. Perhaps the primary reason is their cost efficiency – electricity is cheaper than petrol or diesel practically everywhere in the world. As well as the fuel costs, electric cars do not need oil changes or motor maintenance, which further helps the consumer to reduce their expenses. Companies are working to make electric and hybrid vehicles more affordable, and when considering the money the average consumer will save on petrol or diesel, the financial benefits are clear. A growing focus on climate change and the need for mass-scale divestment from fossil fuels is also powering the shift; electric cars emit fewer harmful pollutants, especially when they are charged by solar panels or other forms of renewable energy.
Convenience may also factor into the increasing popularity of electric cars – rather than having to find a petrol station every time you need more fuel, you can simply charge an electric vehicle at home. With technological advances, the time taken to charge a battery, as well as how many miles a charge will last for, is steadily improving. In addition to this, the average electric car can continue driving past 500 000 miles, while a petrol or diesel car can only reach a maximum of about 200 000 miles.
Government incentives to switch to electric cars are common in Europe, where large efforts are being made to reduce fossil fuel emissions. For example, in some places parking is cheaper for electric cars, and they can sometimes drive in bus lanes to skip traffic jams. In the UK, certain low-emission vehicles are eligible for a plug-in grant, aiding the buyer in the running cost of the vehicle.
Electric cars are expected to become cheaper than petrol cars in the next decade, according to some forecasts – Sweden is simply ahead of the game.