Volvo Reaches 44% Plugin Vehicles

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Full battery-powered electric vehicles (BEVs) accounted for just 7.2% of the US auto market last year, compared to 16% in Europe, an even better 25% in China, and 11% globally. Just statistically speaking, the US is not pulling the EV market forward. So, sometimes, if a car company isn’t making an impressive switch to electric vehicles in the US, it’s hard to notice how much the company is doing abroad or globally to electrify. Case in point: Stellantis. Case in point #2: Volvo Cars.

Just about 1% of Volvo’s car sales in the US were full electrics in 2023. The figure was even worse, 0.2%, in the 4th quarter of 2023. It was much better last month, but still just 4.5%, and it was 4.0% in January–February in the US. However, globally, in February, that figure shot up to a record-high 21.7% — 21.7% of Volvo Cars global sales were 100% electric last month. Looking more broadly, 44% of Volvo Cars global sales were plugin vehicle sales last month. If you look at January–February, 19.4% of Volvo Cars sales were fully electric and 40% were plugin vehicles. (If you include plugin hybrids, Volvo Cars does look much better in the US than if you just look at full electrics. Plugins had 32.5% share in February and 28.4% in January–February in the USA.)

These figures are largely thanks to strong EV sales in Europe. Sales in China were actually down year over year due to when the Lunar New Year landed in 2024 compared to 2023. “Sales in Europe remained strong and grew 26 per cent compared to February 2023, reaching 26,773 cars. Sales of cars with a fully electric or plug-in hybrid powertrain increased with 18 per cent, while sales of fully electric cars increased by 31 per cent, compared to February last year,Volvo Cars writes. “In China, sales reached 7,911 cars, a decrease of 39 per cent compared to February 2023. The reason for the decline was due to the timing of the Lunar New Year, which mainly took place during the month of February.”

Full electric vehicles accounted for 33% of Volvo Cars sales in Europe last month, while plugin vehicles as a whole accounted for 60% of the company’s sales.

In China, the largest electric car market by far, Volvo struggled much more on the electric front. Full electrics accounted for just 1.7% of Volvo Cars sales, and plugin vehicles overall accounted for 5.2%. (Those are US-type percentages!)

Here’s a full table looking at Volvo’s sales numbers and trends year over year in February and January–February, broken out by region and globally:

There’s a lot of room for improvement, but Volvo is clearly already one of the auto industry leaders globally when it comes to its transition to EVs — and that’s even evident in what the auto group chooses to report! That said, Volvo Cars is a small — or even tiny — player in the industry and accounts for a minuscule portion of global auto sales. Just over 50,000 units a month globally is pocket change compared to the sales of major automakers or the industry as a whole. Volvo may be a well known legacy brand, but it has negligible impact on the world auto market in volume terms.


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