Green car sales soar 49 percent in Sweden

Swedish sales of environmentally friendly cars rose by 49 percent in 2007 largely thanks to financial incentives from the state, Sweden's Environmental Protection Agency said Friday.

“A total of 55,000 new green cars were registered in Sweden in 2007 … This means that green cars accounted for 18 percent of the total car market in Sweden,” the agency said in a statement.

The centre-right government introduced in April 2007 a rebate of 10,000 kronor (€1,060, $1,553) for private individuals who buy a new car that produces lower emissions, runs on biofuels or is a hybrid.

“Sweden is showing the strongest growth in green car sales in the world,” Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said in parliament on Wednesday.