The Nordic sales of electric vehicles are for the first time experiencing negative sales development compared to the previous quarter, particularly in Norway and Sweden. This is despite the major competition for market shares amongst the car manufacturers, reports the latest edition of the industry publication, Insero Quarterly.
For more than two years, the Nordic sales of electric vehicles have been in a positive development with one sales record after another. However, this year’s first quarter showed a development in the sales which tells a different story.
The sale of electric vehicles in January, February, and March this year ended with 24.893 sold vehicles across Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark. In comparison, there were sold 27.640 electric vehicles the previous quarter. This is evident in the latest sales numbers which Insero Quarterly has analysed.
The two first months of the year experienced limited sales, while March alone had 11.606 sold electric vehicles in the Nordic region. As such, March held 46,6% of the gathered Nordic sales in the first quarter. Moreover, March turned out to be the best-selling month of all time.
“Despite this negative development in sales for 2018’s first quarter compared to the previous quarter, the 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 and continues:
“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.”
Two of these large markets for electric vehicles, the Norwegian and the Swedish, both experienced negative development in sales compared to the previous quarter. The Norwegian sales were 16,7% less in 2018’s first quarter compared to prior, while the Swedish sales decreased by 7%.
“Even though the Norwegian and the Swedish markets experienced negative developments, we should still expect an increase in the sales on both markets later this year. This is due to the emergence of new models and lower prices on electric vehicles,” says Jens Christian Morell Lodberg Høj.
New Nissan Leaf is a customer favourite
If you delve into the Nordic sales numbers for the first quarter, it becomes evident that the new Nissan Leaf model is extremely popular. This model alone sold 3.172 units which is the largest sale ever recorded for a single model in the Nordic region during a quarter.
Despite the record-breaking sale of Nissan Leaf EVs, the competitor, Volvo ended the quarter as the market leader. With 4.063 sold electric vehicles during this year’s first three months, the Swedish car manufacturer claimed 16% of the total Nordic sales of electric vehicles. Thus, Volvo surpassed Volkswagen who had the previous quarter’s market lead with 20%.
In addition, Volvo’s XC60 was the best-selling plug-in hybrid electric vehicle in 2018’s first quarter.
“The battle for the electric vehicle market is tough. As such, it is difficult to predict if Volvo can maintain their position as market leader in the following quarter. It is incredibly close between Volvo and Volkswagen, however, with the large growth in the Danish plug-in hybrid electric vehicle segment it is not unlikely that Kia will rise to the surface,” states Jens Christian Morell Lodberg Høj and points out:
“Every car manufacturer has a detailed launch plan of different plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery electric vehicles they are following. There is, however, a tendency for the manufacturers to intensify their focus on electric vehicles in their portfolio.”
Danes prefer plug-in hybrid electric vehicles
Even though the gathered Nordic sales of electric vehicles experienced negative development in this year’s first quarter, the Danish sales numbers turned out positive. For the first time in two years, more than 1.000 electric vehicles were sold during a single quarter. This increase is mainly due to the sales of plug-in electric vehicles which accumulated 80% of the total sales.
“The Danish sales has taken a significant step towards comparison countries such as Finland and Sweden,” says Jens Christian Morell Lodberg Høj about the Danish sales and elaborates:
“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. Nonetheless, we should not ignore the sales numbers for battery electric vehicles – they too are better than the numbers from the same period last year.”
The Danish sales of battery electric vehicles in 2018’s first quarter ended with 206 sold units while 58 battery electric vehicles were sold in the first quarter of 2017.[source: Insero]