Volvo Australia’s surprise electric car sales surge

Volvo Australia's surprise electric car sales surge

Record deliveries of electric cars helped Volvo achieve its best annual sales in Australia last year.

A larger percentage of Volvo buyers in Australia chose electric over petrol last year than overseas Volvo buyers.

The milestone comes as Volvo Australia counts down three more years before it switches to electric power and ditch petrol cars forever.

A record 13.8 per cent (1,474) of Volvo cars sold in Australia were electric – in a year in which the Chinese-owned Swedish automaker eclipsed 10,000 vehicles sold in a calendar year (10,715 sales) for the first time .

The result places Australia ahead of the rest of the Volvo world – as electric cars accounted for 10.9 percent of the 615,121 Volvo vehicles sold worldwide in 2022.

Last year, electric cars made up 2.3 percent of Volvo’s sales mix in Australia – compared to 3.7 percent globally.

Although Australia does well in Volvo’s global comparison, we’re still behind Europe, where 18.5 percent of Volvo sales are electric. In the US, 7.2 percent of Volvo sales are electric; in China the mix was only 1.8 percent.

In December 2022, electric cars made up the majority of Volvo sales in Australia, with the 327 electric XC40 and 209 C40 vehicles (536 cars in total) together accounting for 54.7 per cent of the 980 total vehicles sold – after a sudden spike in deliveries followed a big show.

Including plug-in hybrids, 64 percent of Volvo vehicles sold in December 2022 were hybrid or electric vehicles – up from 23.1 percent in the calendar year. This compares to 43.8 and 33.4 percent worldwide.

A spokesman for Volvo Australia said drive The company expects hybrid and electric vehicle sales to continue to grow, subject to any production or shipping delays.

Volvo Australia says its electric car order bank – the small SUV XC40 Recharge Pure Electric and its coupe-style twin C40 Recharge – are in the “high number of thousands”.

The record electric car sales are a step towards Volvo Australia’s plan to phase out sales of petrol-powered cars and switch to electric cars from 2026, four years ahead of Volvo’s global target.

The company estimates that 80 per cent of Volvo Australia sales will be electric by 2025 and aims to sell 20,000 electric vehicles a year from 2026 – doubling its sales in four years.

Volvo Car Australia boss Stephen Connor said at a media conference in October 2022: “We saw an opportunity in our market today and our consumers are ready for it.

“Tesla will sell 20,000 cars this year and Australian consumers are looking for change. Consumers are no longer just mom and dad, it’s the kids telling their parents what to buy.”

Volvo’s decision to accelerate the rollout of electric cars puts the company on a collision course with sister brand Polestar, which launched in Australia last year and sells only electric vehicles – which resemble Volvo cars and claim similar performance specifications.

In the ranking of electric car sales in 2022, Volvo took fifth place – behind Polestar, Hyundai, the Chinese newcomer BYD and the market leader Tesla. The Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric was the seventh best-selling EV overall (983 cars).

Meanwhile, the Volvo XC60 Recharge PHEV was Australia’s best-selling plug-in hybrid (PHEV) – and best-selling luxury PHEV – in 2022.

Alex Misoyannis

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017 when he launched his own website Redline. He worked for Drive in 2018 before joining CarAdvice in 2019 and becoming a regular journalist on the news team in 2020. Cars have played a central role in Alex’s life, from leafing through car magazines at a young age to growing up surrounded by performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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