Volvo will build electric cars by 2030 and sell them online

The Chinese-owned Swedish carmaker Volvo said on Tuesday that it will only produce electric cars by 2030 and will sell them all exclusively online.

Volvo is among a growing group of companies planning to abandon fossil fuel vehicles in the next few years, as demand for zero-emission cars rises and governments pressure companies to cut pollution.

India’s Jaguar said last month it would produce only electric cars starting in 2025, while the US auto giant Ford said it aims to have a fully electric fleet in Europe by 2030.

Volvo said in a statement: “The company intends to sell only fully electric cars and phase out any vehicle in its global portfolio with an internal combustion engine, including hybrid cars.”

The company said half of its cars should be electric in 2025, with online sales accounting for half of its volume.

Chinese company Geely Holding bought ailing Volvo Cars in 2010 from Ford and has since helped it enjoy a renaissance as a manufacturer of quality cars.

However, Geely Auto said last month that it would not go ahead with the planned merger with Volvo, but that the two companies would step up their electric vehicle cooperation instead.

Volvo is set to reveal its second all-electric vehicle, the C40 SUV later on Tuesday, and is gearing up for a smaller model that suits European road conditions.

The company says its move to online sales will provide more transparency about pricing and options to its customers.

“If you ask people it would be alarming if you don’t have a clear picture of the price,” company president Håkan Samuelson told AFP.

“The buying process looks very complicated today, and it should be easier and more transparent,” he said.

“We are also simplifying the menu. You have a lot of options. We will provide a kind of ‘dish of the day’ but we will also provide good combinations and people can choose from.”

Volvo demonstrated its resilience during the Coronavirus crisis last year, limiting the decline in sales to only 6% globally, supported by strong markets in China and North America that offset the sharp slowdown in Europe.

Sales of hybrid cars performed particularly well on the back of government subsidies for greener vehicles.

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