When you think of electric vehicles, Volvo isn’t typically the company that comes to mind first, but it’s got one of the best shares of plug-in vehicle sales (as a total of all of its sales) in the business. In fact, among traditional automakers, none come to mind that are doing better (unless you count the smart brand, which is now fully electric).
That said, part of the reason Volvo doesn’t get a lot of glory is that it heavily (i.e., almost entirely) relies on plug-in hybrid versions of fossil fuel models. Also, it’s not exactly the biggest automaker and the reason it has such a high share of its sales coming from plug-in vehicles is in good part because its top markets are leading markets for the adoption of vehicles with plugs.
But let’s not detract from the success story. As noted in the headline, 14% of Volvo’s sales came from its plug-in models in the first 4 months of this year. That’s up from 7% in 2019.
Volvo is calling its vehicles with plugs the company’s “Recharge” lineup now. While that may trigger a chuckle, the important point here (in my humble opinion) is that Volvo has realized now that plug-in vehicles are so important to its future now that it should probably acknowledge and brand them better. We may be far away from a compelling lineup of fully electric Volvos, but the Swedish brand (owned by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding since 2010) is at least walking in the right direction.