Volvo Cars will become an all-electric car manufacturer from 2030. In 2018, Volvo had set itself the goal of achieving half of its sales with purely electric cars by 2025. To this end, there is another change: Volvo wants to sell electric cars only via online direct sales.
While Volvo had still left some loopholes open when it made the announcement in 2018; for example, the statement that it would only sell cars with electric motors also included mild hybrids, the announcement is now much clearer. Starting from 2030, the Swedish company and Geely subsidiary only want to offer purely electric cars and by then phase out every car in its global portfolio with an internal combustion engine, including hybrids.
“There is no long-term future for cars with an internal combustion engine,” said CTO Henrik Green. “We are firmly committed to becoming an electric-only car maker, and the transition should happen by 2030.”
In doing so, Volvo said it was also relying on recent announcements and decisions from policymakers. According to Volvo, the expectation that legislation and a rapid expansion of accessible, high-quality charging infrastructure will accelerate consumer acceptance of all-electric cars decision played a major role in the decision.
“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 CEO Håkan Samuelsson.
Samuelsson also brings up another major change for the vehicle manufacturer: Volvo also announced that it would sell its all-electric models exclusively online, starting with the new 2022 model year of the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric. There, pre-configured vehicles are to be offered, which should simplify and accelerate the ordering process (and production).
The Swedish company hopes to reduce complexity in the product range and want to work with more transparent and fixed pricing models vis-à-vis the customer. At Volvo, the time of discount negotiations in the dealership seems to have come to an end, both because of the pricing model and because of online ordering at the displayed price.
“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,” says Lex Kerssemakers, Member of the Board of Volvo Cars and Head of Global Commercial Operations. “Simplification and convenience are key to everything we do.”
Second electric Volvo to be unveiled on Tuesday
To that end, the company plans to invest an unspecified sum in expanding its online sales channels. But it also wants to keep its brick-and-mortar dealerships as a “one-stop-shop” for customers – for test drives and advice, delivery and servicing. “Online and off-line need to be fully and seamlessly integrated,” Kerssemakers continues.
The XC40 Recharge Pure Electric (formerly XC40 Recharge P8) will initially be offered on a “Care by Volvo” subscription. In addition to a flexible subscription, there will also be a 36-month subscription similar to a leasing offer. Customers who want to buy the electric XC40 will have to be patient, as the corresponding process is still under development. The new model year will also be more affordable: while Germany’s base model previously started at 62,000 euros, the new model year will be priced from around 58,000 euros. This puts the gross list price at under 60,000 euros, which means the XC40 Recharge benefits from the “0.25 per cent” rule in the company car regulations.
If customers still wait, they will also have more choice in electric models: Volvo plans to introduce a second electric vehicle model by Tuesday.