2012 (Full Year) Sweden: Best-Selling Electric Cars & Plug-In Hybrid Models

The Toyota Prius Plug-in and Nissan Leaf were the most popular electric car models in Sweden in 2012.

2012 Toyota Prius Plugin with the plug in
Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid    Photo Toyota Press

In 2012, the most popular electric vehicles in Sweden were the Toyota Prius Plug-in and Nissan Leaf. The electric passenger car market in Sweden grew from only 181 cars in 2011 to 928 in 2012. New electric vehicle models were the most popular with former favorites such as the Mitsubishi iMiev, Peugeot iOn, and Citroen C-Zero fast slipping into insignificance.

Best-Selling Electric and Plug-In Hybrid Car Models in Sweden in 2012

According to car sales statistics released by Bilsweden, the following were the most popular electric and plug-in hybrid cars in Sweden in 2012:

2012 2012 2012 2011
Jan-Dec Jan-Sep Jan-June Full Year
1 Toyota Prius Plug-in 499 296 0 0
2 Nissan Leaf 129 77 51 0
3 Volvo C30 Electric 88 78 48 48
4 Opel Ampera 88 72 49 0
5 Volvo S60 N Laddhybrid 42 0 0 0
6 Chevrolet Volt 33 26 1 0
7 Citroen C-Zero 29 23 19 31
8 Peugeot iOn 9 9 8 28
9 Mitsubishi iMiev 9 5 5 71
10 Smart for Two EV 2 2 2 0
Total 928 588 183 178
Source: BILSweden

These cars are classified in Sweden as super clean, i.e. having CO2 emissions of less than 50 g/km.

Best-Selling Low-Emission Vehicles in Sweden in 2012

Sales of super clean cars in Sweden increased dramatically during 2012. In the whole of 2011, only 181 electric and plug-in hybrid cars were sold in Sweden compared to 928 in 2012. Although this number is still small compared to the 279,478 new passenger vehicles registered in Sweden in 2012, the growth is phenomenal.

The Toyota Prius Plug-in hybrid was only launched in Sweden in July 2012, but easily moved into the top-selling position for super clean cars in Sweden for the full year 2012. The Toyota Prius alone accounts for more than half of all super clean cars registered in Sweden in 2012.

The Nissan Leaf – a truly electric car – was the second most popular super clean car in Sweden in 2012.

The Volvo C-30 Electric (second best-selling electric car in Sweden in 2011) and the Opel Ampera shared the third best-selling super clean car position in Sweden in 2012. However, both cars were clearly struggling to find buyers in Sweden during the final quarter of 2012.

It was similarly a dismal final quarter of 2012 for all other electric vehicles currently on offer in Sweden. The only exception was the newly launched Volvo S60 N Laddhybrid – a plug-in hybrid, which entered the market at the fifth position overall.

The technologically similar Mitsubishi iMiev, Peugeot iOn, and Citroen C-Zero – which were market leaders during 2011 – have now clearly been surpassed by more efficient newer electric cars.

During 2012, Renault sold 265 Kangoo Z E light delivery vehicles in Sweden.

The overall car market in Sweden shrunk by 8.4% to 279,478 new passenger vehicle registrations in 2012. This was still nine thousand more cars than was predicted at the beginning of the year. The relatively good performance was in part due to a rush to cash in on tax breaks for clean cars that expired at the end of 2012 – new breaks require even cleaner vehicles. As a result, 2013 is expected to be a weak year with slow sales during the first few months of 2013.