Last year, 353,666 new cars were registered in Sweden.
Statistics from the industry association Bil Sweden show that 2018 was a jerky year in the car industry. The reason was the new vehicle tax – which pushed up sales during the first half of the year and caused it to plummet in the second half of the year. It became more expensive to buy a thirsty car, while the contribution of up to 60,000 caused the share of electric cars to almost double.
But perhaps the most striking fact was that for the first time since 2008, petrol cars sold more than diesel cars.
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Debate on environmental zones and health risks
Diesel vehicles became more popular than petrol alternatives for the first time in 2009. Since then, the share has in some years been as high as 70 percent of all cars sold. But after the high-profile diesel scandal in 2015 – with a subsequent debate on health risks and the introduction of environmental zones – sales have gradually declined.
In 2018, it happened to slut. At that time, 133,900 diesel cars and 165,960 petrol cars were sold.
Bil Sweden believes that the development is partly due to the supply of electric cars, electric cars and electric hybrids having increased. That is true to some extent, but that category of vehicle remains for a relatively small part of the total amount of cars sold. Therefore, it is more about a shift from diesel to petrol.
In addition to vehicle tax that punishes thirsty vehicles, discussions about emissions of dangerous nitrogen oxides and the government giving municipalities the green light for environmental zones, the higher diesel price may also have affected the Swedes’ buying behavior. During parts of the year, the fuel was more than a kroner more expensive than petrol.
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