Volvo Australia hit something of a tipping point in December 2022, selling more pure EVs than internal combustion vehicles for the month.

    This is in the context of a brand that plans to be all-electric in Australia from 2026.

    Of the 980 vehicles Volvo sold in December, 536 were BEV, which is equal to about 55 per cent of the total. These sales comprised 327 units of the XC40 Recharge and 209 of the C40.

    Add plug-in hybrids (91) to the December tally and Recharge-branded models took around two-thirds of total Volvo volume for the month.

    Over the entirety of 2022, Volvo sold 1474 EVs, which equalled around 14 per cent of its total. Add the 1005 PHEVs it sold and suddenly 23 per cent of its annual sales were EV or PHEV.

    The company sat fifth on the EV sales charts behind Tesla (19,594), Hyundai (2432), BYD (2113), and the part-Volvo-owned Polestar (1554). Volvo’s BEV range outgunned those of BMW (1290) and Mercedes-Benz (1166).

    As reported last week, Volvo Cars broke its all-time sales record in Australia during 2022, breaking the 10,000-unit barrier for the first time.

    The company delivered 10,715 cars last year, up 18.7 per cent year-on-year (YoY). It compares to 9028 sales in 2021 and 7700 sales in 2020.

    Volvo’s 2022 sales figure placed it 21st overall, and it outgunned brands such as Renault (8855), Lexus (7089), Jeep (6658) and Skoda (6502).

    Volvo Australia announced last year it would go EV-only by 2026, four years ahead of the brand’s global deadline.

    “In 2021 when I was appointed Managing Director, I stated 10,000 sales was very achievable for Volvo based on our consistent growth trajectory and the strength of our brand in the luxury SUV segment,” said local managing director Stephen Connor.

    “Our performance over the past two years has reinforced my belief that Volvo can be a consistent top three player in our segment.

    “I am very confident we can achieve this and accomplish our aspiration of selling 20,000 fully electric cars every year in Australia. By 2025 nearly 80 per cent of Volvo’s Australian sales will comprise fully electric models.

    “We know Australian consumers are early adopters of new technologies, and they are embracing fully electric cars in increasing numbers as part of a practical response to combatting climate change. We believe this momentum will increase in the years ahead.”

    The next major launch for Volvo in Australia is the new EX90, an electric replacement for the XC90 seven-seater. Global CEO Jim Rowan has also confirmed an all-electric Volvo EX30 small crossover will be launched this year, produced in China like many other Volvos.

    Globally, Volvo has slated an ambitious sales target of 1.2 million cars per annum by 2025. That’s a 72 per cent increase over the company’s 2021 global sales tally.

    Volvo Australia could also team up with its corporate parents at Geely in China to bring the electric Radar ute Down Under, as we learned last year.

    MORE: Volvo Australia breaks record, passes 10,000 annual sales
    MORE: Volvo Australia planning to be electric-only by 2026
    MORE: Australia’s top-selling EVs in 2022

    MORE: Australia’s top-selling plug-in hybrids in 2022

    Mike Costello
    Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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