Volvo EV sales rise more than twofold in Dec as supply chain issues ease

Volvo Cars reported a 205.9% year-on-year increase in electric vehicle sales in December to 14,588 units, while full-year sales rose 159.5% to 66,749 units, it said in a statement Jan. 5.

Volvo’s total rechargeable vehicle sales for December totaled 31,826 units, up 33.5% year on year, with full-year 2022 electric vehicle sales or EVs sales rising and plug-in hybrid sales down 9.6% at 17,238 units.

Monthly rechargeable vehicle sales rose 37.2% year on year to 22,661 units, 7.6% to 3,202 units and 15.8% to 1,933 units in Europe, the US and China, respectively.

Meanwhile, Volvo’s total vehicle sales for December reached 72,633 units, up 12.8% year on year.

The latest monthly sales data from Volvo indicates that the supply chain issues that have hindered global car production through 2022 are continuing to improve despite high inflation and a dull economic outlook weighing on sales expectations.

Total vehicle shipments fall 12% in 2022 despite surge in EV sales

Sales growth across the rechargeable vehicle segment was outweighed by weaker sales of internal combustion vehicle, resulting in full-year 2022 total vehicle sales falling 12% year on year to 615,121 units.

Total vehicle sales for full-year 2022 fell 15.7% to 247,413 units, 5.4% to 162,322 units and 16.5% to 102,038 units in Europe, China and the US, respectively.

“Volvo Cars’ full year sales performance was affected by challenges across the supply chain, as well as production restraints caused by component shortages and covid-related lockdowns in China,” Volvo said. “Despite this, demand for Volvo Cars remained robust,” it added.

The latest monthly figures suggested that the company’s full-year 2022 rechargeable vehicle sales were up 8.5% year on year to 205,302 units, of which EVs increased 159.5% to 66,749 units but plug-in hybrid declined 15.2% to 138,603 units.

In Europe — Volvo’s largest market — 135,714 rechargeable vehicles were sold over the 12-month period, up 3.9% year on year. This included 45,690 EVs, up 175.7% year on year, and 90,024 plug-in hybrid vehicles, down 21% over the same period.

In China, rechargeable vehicles sales for the period rose 4.4% year on year to 12,215 units, of which EV sales were up 231.4% to 2,999 units and hybrids were down 14.6% to 9,216 units.

Volvo’s rechargeable vehicle sales in the US also climbed 22.3% year on year to 27,909 units, including 7,308 EVs, down 14.3%, and 20,061 hybrids, up 25.4%.

Rising demand for EVs has supported higher battery metal prices, with Platts seaborne lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide assessments up 121% and 156.2%, respectively, since the start of 2022 at $74,700/mt CIF North Asia and $81,200/mt CIF North Asia as of Jan. 5, S&P Global Commodity Insights data showed.

— Euan Sadden