Short-term forecast for the vehicle fleet Sweden 2021-2024

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Transport Analysis is responsible for making short-term forecasts for developments in the types and number of vehicles registered in Sweden for the current year and the coming three years. This year’s forecast covers the period 2021-2024.

This report explains the method and the assessments that form the basis of the short-term forecast for passenger cars, light, and heavy lorries, as well as buses. The results of the forecast will be published in a separate Excel table.

The short-term forecast for passenger cars and light lorries includes the total number of vehicles on the roads and their characteristics, such as type of fuel, emissions class, average CO2 emissions from newly registered vehicles, as well as ownership form.

The short-term forecast for heavy lorries includes characteristics such as type of fuel, emissions class, ownership form, and axle load. This year, for the first time, we also present a forecast for the number of newly registered electric heavy lorries. The forecast for buses covers the same characteristics as for heavy goods vehicles, with the exception of ownership form.

The coronavirus pandemic during 2020 has had an impact on vehicle registrations

2020 was different than previous years in many ways, and this has also affected the types of vehicles on the roads. The number of vehicles newly registered decreased considerably during 2020, as compared with previous years. However, the decrease in newly registered passenger cars was not as pronounced as that of light and heavy lorries. The number of newly registered buses increased as compared with previous years. However, as the majority of buses on the roads in Sweden fall under public procurement, the number of new vehicles is not as strongly correlated with the economic state as is the case with other types of vehicles.

The number of plug-in electric vehicles increased considerably across all categories during 2020. 31 per cent of all newly registered passenger cars were plug-in electrics, a considerable increase compared to previous years. The number of electric light and heavy lorries also increased during 2020. A total of 19 electric heavy lorries were newly registered during the year. Electric heavy lorries have not previously been presented as a separate category in the official vehicle statistics; instead, they were included in the category “other”. As the number of newly registered electric heavy goods vehicles is expected to increase, we will begin to make forecasts in this area.

Greater deviations between prognoses and outcomes

Despite the great uncertainties caused by the pandemic during 2020, the forecast for the year (published in April 2020) proved to be largely accurate. The greatest deviation concerns the number of newly registered passenger cars, for which the forecast was 250,000, somewhat short of the actual number, 300,000. Our forecast were largely accurate as regards the other vehicle categories.

Continued uncertainty concerning the future

During the spring of 2021, Transport Analysis has studied trends in how other organisations are seeking to tackle uncertainties in making scenarios, forecasts and assessments concerning how quickly the sales of new vehicles are expected recover and reach their previous levels. Our objective was to learn from international experiences and identify reasoning and methods for scenarios/forecasts for the sales of new cars during the coming years. The results from this study are presented in a separate report. The main sources are publications by international consultancy firms. We present these for three regions: the US, Asia, and Europe. The results clearly demonstrate that there is currently a great deal of uncertainty around the demand for new vehicles. This is very much due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The uncertainly arising from the pandemic leads to less clarity as regards the future vehicles on the roads.  

Mild hybrids are no longer classed as hybrid electrics

During 2020, Transport Analysis noted that the majority of passenger cars using so-called mild hybrid technology had been registered as electric hybrids. This resulted in a large number of new passenger cars being registered as hybrid electrics rather than petrol or diesel cars. During the past year, we have been able to differentiate mild hybrids from hybrid electric vehicles and exclude mild hybrids from the statistics and prognoses for hybrid electrics.   

Moderate resurgence in ethanol

The number of newly registered vehicles that can be run on E85 has decreased dramatically during the past ten years. Around 1,000 such vehicles were newly registered per year over the past years. However, during 2019, there was a slight increase in the number of light goods vehicles using E85. The number of newly registered light lorries using ethanol continued to increase during 2020. Only 70 passenger cars using E85 were registered over the same period. During 2021, four new car models and one light lorry that run on ethanol are expected to be released. Therefore, we have raised our forecast for the number of newly registered ethanol vehicles.

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