Used Electric Vehicle sales in 2022 hit record high. Subscribe to Electric Vehicle News Bitesize Podcast for FREE to hear more!
Sales of used electric vehicles hit a record high last year as a surge in production spilled over into the used market.
According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), a total of 71,071 electric vehicles changed hands in 2022, a 38% increase from the previous year.
The surge bucked a broader trend of a general downturn in used car sales, with total transactions down 9% amid a slowdown in the post-coronavirus boom.
That reflects an increase in the number of electric vehicles sold in new markets in recent years, as customers take advantage of tax breaks and models from leader Tesla have become more popular.
Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, said: “While the market headlines are negative, and reflective of the squeeze on new car supply last year, record electrified vehicle uptake is a bright spot and demonstrates a growing appetite for these models.
“With new car registrations growth expected this year, more of the latest low and zero emission models should become available to second owners.”
Meanwhile, Swedish automaker Volvo Cars, controlled by China’s Geely, said sales of its electric models tripled in the last three months of the year as production ramped up.
Unlike Tesla, the company sees no need to cut the price of its cars, it said, adding: “For electrified cars, the demand was especially strong and continued to grow.”
Volvo said it expected continued challenges this year from high energy prices and rising costs of raw materials, including lithium, which is critical to making batteries. Still, the company expects the microchip shortage plaguing the industry to eventually ease.
Jim Rowan, chief executive, said: “While 2023 looks to be another challenging year, we are hopeful that the COVID related supply shortages from China are behind us and that we continue to see steady improvement in the supply of semiconductors.”
The company aims to produce 1.2 million vehicles a year by 2025, half of which will be powered by batteries, up from 21% in December.
Volvo sold 615,000 vehicles last year, down 12% from 2021.
Last month, Tesla slashed prices by a record £8,000 in an effort to reverse slowing sales.
The Elon Musk-led company said it would slash prices by as much as 20% in the U.S. and Europe within weeks of cutting the cost of its vehicles in China.
However, Volvo has lower profit margins on its EVs compared to combustion versions. Last year, its sales of electric vehicles rose 8%, while sales of gasoline and diesel models rose 21%.
Volvo’s overall profit fell 16 percent to 17.9 billion Swedish kronor (£1.4 billion).
The company said: “Despite the global turbulence, uncertainty and our recent price increases, we continue to see healthy demand for our cars.”
Much lower global vehicle production rates mean supply remains far behind demand, allowing most automakers to remain profitable despite rising costs.
Higher energy bills also drive up wages, transportation and raw material prices.
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