Volvo Cars reported the strongest second-half sales numbers in its history, as fast-growing demand for its electrified cars is said to have boosted the company’s recovery from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the automotive manufacturer, the share of recharge models with a fully electric or plug-in hybrid powertrain more than doubled in 2020 compared with 2019. In Europe, the share of recharge cars of overall sales was 29%.

In China and the U.S., its two largest individual markets, the company reported growing sales for the full year as it managed to more than recover a pandemic-related sales drop in the first half during the second half of the year. While sales dropped 21% in the first half of the year, they rose 7.4% to 391,751 units in the second half, compared with the same period in 2019. Globally, Volvo Cars sold 661,713 cars in 2020, down 6.2% year-on-year. In Europe, overall sales fell 15.5% for the whole year, while in China it was up 7.5% and +1.8% in the U.S..

Volvo Cars said the pandemic also accelerated its move towards online sales, which will continue to be a focus area in 2021. In 2020, the manufacturer said it more than doubled its number of subscriptions sold online versus 2019. By 2025, it aims for its global sales to consist of 50% fully electric cars, with the rest hybrids. The company reported that it aims to triple its electric car manufacturing capacity at its plant in Ghent, Belgium, by 2022 as it prepares to meet fast-growing demand for its recharge line-up of chargeable cars. Ghent is currently preparing to take a second fully electric Volvo model, based on the CMA modular vehicle architecture, into production later this year. The plant already builds the XC40 Recharge, the company’s first fully electric car, as well as plug-in hybrid versions of the XC40.