Sweden is witnessing a surge in the adoption of electric vehicles, in line with its mission to become fossil fuel free by 2030.

Volvo Cars is leading the way in this EV revolution. The company recorded a 17 percent increase in sales during the first half of the year alone, with its XC40 leading as the best-selling BEV in Sweden.

According to Volvo, XC40 and C40 saw a 167 percent increase in sales compared to the first quarter of 2022. In addition, recent data from the trade association indicates that 6,886 new XC40 and C40 vehicles were registered in the country by the end of June.

Sweden accounted for 17 percent of all-electric cars delivered by Volvo in Europe and 12 percent globally in the first half of the year. The top-selling model in the current year remains the fossil-fueled XC60, with a notable 21,053 units sold.

Volvo subsidiary Polestar is also experiencing a significant growth trajectory. The brand recorded a 73 percent increase in deliveries during June compared to the corresponding period last year. This achievement allows Polestar to set new quarterly and first-half records.

During the second quarter, Polestar delivered 15,800 vehicles, reflecting a substantial 36 percent increase. For the first half of the year, Polestar has successfully delivered 27,900 vehicles in total. The brand targets to deliver between 60,000 and 70,000 cars by year-end.

Polestar CEO, Thomas Ingenlath, expressed his confidence in the upward trend of deliveries, especially in the second half of the year, which is traditionally stronger. The upgraded Polestar 2, featuring a range extended by up to 22 percent, is set to be launched.

In order to augment its market presence, Polestar plans to inaugurate 20 Polestar Spaces, its dedicated showrooms, in the coming months. These new spaces will showcase the brand’s upcoming models, including the highly anticipated Polestar 3, which is expected to go on sale late this year or early next year, and Polestar 4.

Tax Exemption for Workplace Vehicle Charging

The Swedish government has also introduced a temporary tax exemption in a bid to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles.

This new measure aims to facilitate the installation of electric car charging infrastructure and reduce financial barriers in the corporate sector, fostering the adoption of environmentally friendly transportation solutions for companies and employees.

Through this initiative, the government also seeks to incentivize more individuals to switch to electric vehicles and reap lower operating costs advantages, as well as reduce environmental impact.

The temporary tax exemption, which came into effect earlier this month, will remain in effect until June 30, 2026. During this period, employers can install and upgrade charging infrastructure at their premises without employees incurring tax liabilities on this particular benefit.

In addition to this tax exemption, the government has outlined plans for further initiatives to facilitate the widespread adoption of electric vehicles. These measures include expanding the network of public charging stations and investing in research and development of advanced battery technologies.

For instance, Nilar International AB, a Swedish company specializing in advanced battery solutions, has received research support through the strategic innovation program RE:Source.

In collaboration with Stockholm University and Uppsala University, the company aims to develop sustainable methods for reusing spent electrode material in new nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries.

Nilar’s battery technology is based on NiMH electrochemistry and utilizes a water-based electrolyte. This approach not only improves the safety of Nilar’s batteries but also enables the recycling of its components.

According to Erik Oldmark, CEO of Nilar International AB, the research support granted by the RE:Source innovation program is a significant recognition of Nilar’s and its research partners’ pioneering work in battery recycling technology.

He underlined that their goal is to enhance the possibility of reusing spent electrode material, which “both promotes a sustainable and circular economy and contributes to improved performance of the new batteries.”

The reuse of spent electrode material aligns with the EU’s battery regulation. It underscores its significance as societies transition to electrification.

This program, set to commence in September, is funded by Vinnova, the Swedish Energy Agency and Formas. With a total budget of approximately SEK 4 million, Nilar will receive a 50 percent grant from the RE:Source innovation program.

Expanding Accessible Charging Infrastructure

As electric car sales continue to soar in Sweden, the demand for easily accessible charging points is also on the rise. With electric vehicle sales surpassing traditional gasoline and diesel vehicles in new purchases, the country is expected to have around 3 million rechargeable passenger cars by 2030.

In order to meet this need, Axfood and McDonald’s are taking steps to expand the charging infrastructure across the country.

Axfood, the parent company of popular supermarket Willys, aims to build charging stations at its stores. This initiative follows a successful pilot project conducted at Willys stores in various locations across the country, such as Karlstad, Växjö, Gävle, Skellefteå, Sundsvall, Bro, and Rotebro.

The forthcoming plan involves the construction of additional charging stations at Willys, Hemköp, Snabbgross, and Eurocash stores in 20 to 25 locations over the next few years. The initial phase will focus on Willys stores in Sundsvall, Halmstad, Umeå, and Gothenburg.

Each store will feature six to ten charging points, providing outputs ranging from 22 to 150 kW. This range ensures that customers can conveniently charge their vehicles during a typical weekly transaction, which takes approximately 30 to 60 minutes.

In addition to Axfood, McDonald’s is also expanding its charging network on Gotland. As the existing infrastructure only covers half of the summer season’s requirements, McDonald’s is now introducing super-fast chargers on Gotland to cater to the rising demand.

As the country’s largest restaurant chain, McDonald’s is committed to promoting fossil-free car travel. It has over 200 charging stations already installed at more than 80 restaurants.

The latest expansion at McDonald’s in Visby involves replacing the existing three charging stations with eight super-fast chargers capable of providing a maximum output of 200 kW. Vehicles like the Volkswagen ID.4, Polestar 2, or Audi e-tron can be charged up to 80 percent within 30 minutes during a visit to the restaurant.

Henrik Nerell, environment manager at McDonald’s Sweden, emphasized the company’s commitment to facilitating a seamless experience for guests. It includes recharging both the guests and their vehicles at one convenient location. By taking the lead in expanding charging infrastructure on Gotland, McDonald’s hopes to inspire others to contribute to the transition toward fossil-free car travel, making it easier and faster for everyone.