Volvo has committed to transitioning its entire model line-up to fully electric vehicles by 2030, accelerating its plans to phase out combustion engine vehicles, including hybrids. The Swedish company will also move sales of all its models online.
Volvo now features two EVs in its line-up – the XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge
Brand has accelerated its commitment to go electric
Volvo India expected to launch its first EV later this year
Volvo’s commitment to going electric
In 2019, the Geely-owned firm committed to becoming a fully electric car brand within 20 years, with company boss Hakan Samuelsson saying at the time that customer demand would set the exact timetable. That included the goal of making half of its sales EVs by 2025, with the rest being plug-in hybrids.
Volvo’s target to become fully electric within nine years marks an acceleration of that target, which the company says is driven by a strong early demand for its first EV, the XC40 Recharge and the expectation that legislation and the expansion of charging infrastructure will increase customer demand for EVs. The UK, for example, has committed to banning sales of virtually all non-zero emission new cars from 2030 onwards.
“To remain successful, we need profitable growth. So instead of investing in a shrinking business, we choose to invest in the future – electric and online,” said Samuelsson. “We are fully focused on becoming a leader in the fast-growing premium electric segment.”
Henrik Green, Volvo’s chief technology officer, added that “there is no long-term future for cars with an internal combustion engine.”
Volvo: EV-only transition so far
Volvo has already taken steps towards a full electric shift, including merging its combustion engine programme with sister firm Geely’s, and divesting that into a standalone company.
Volvo revealed its first electric car, the XC40 Recharge, in late 2019 – it is expected to launch in India sometime in 2021. It has also taken the wraps off its second EV, the C40 Recharge, on March 3.
Volvo has released a graphic showing its 'mid-decade electric portfolio', which confirms that it is aiming to offer seven full EVs by 2025, which include the XC40 Recharge and the new C40 Recharge. The company is also working on a small model based on Geely's new SEA electric architecture that will sit underneath the 40-series models, and will likely introduce a 20-series.
The brand has also confirmed it will launch a full electric version of the next XC90, which is due next year, and will likely also develop an electric version of the XC60.
Volvo: the shift to online-only sales for EVs
Volvo will sell its new line-up of electric cars only online, as part of a series of steps that the Swedish company says will simplify its sales models.
The brand has committed to investing heavily in its online sales systems, and will also switch to "transparent and set pricing models" as part of moves to "radically reduce complexity" in its product line-up.
While the sales process is described as 'online-only', Volvo says that dealerships will still be heavily involved in the process. As well as offering test drives, delivery and servicing, they will also be able to show vehicles to customers and help them choose in the traditional way. If customers want to order in a showroom, the dealer will then complete the order through Volvo's website.
Lex Kerssemakers, Volvo's commercial boss, said, "The future of Volvo Cars is defined by three pillars: electric, online and growth. We want to offer our customers peace of mind and a care-free way of having a Volvo, by taking away complexity while getting and driving the car. Simplification and convenience are key to everything we do."
Volvo in India
Volvo launched the 2021 S60 at an introductory price of Rs 45.90 lakh (ex-showroom, India) earlier this year, with deliveries to commence in mid-March. Interestingly, the launch price of this new-gen S60 was only valid for a limited number of buyers who made their purchase digitally.
As for Volvo’s electrification plans in India, the brand has confirmed it will be ditching diesels and have a petrol and EV-only line-up by 2022. It has already set the wheels in motion with the petrol-only S60 and XC40, and will add to this with the all-electric XC40 Recharge later this year.
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