Toronto Star

Volvo to go electric-only and shift all sales online by 2030


Volvo Cars set an ambitious goal to only sell battery cars by 2030, accelerati­ng its plans after sales of electric vehicles surged.

The Chinese-owned Swedish brand is rolling out a new lineup of electric cars and unveiled its second battery-only model, the C40 Recharge, on Tuesday. Going one step further than recent rivals’ decisions on EVs, Volvo’s electric vehicles will only be available for sale online, the company said in a statement.

“Going electric will strengthen our brand, it means going into a growing segment,” chief executive officer Hakan Samuelsson said. “Combustion cars are a shrinking segment.”

Volvo’s move follows rivals including Jaguar Land Rover, General Motors Co. and Volkswagen AG announcing plans to electrify their offerings. In addition to tough emissions regulation, incredible valuations garnered by EV-only newcomers have been a wake-up call to accelerate the pace of change to survive industry upheaval.

The decision also comes days after Volvo and Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd., both owned by parent Zhejiang Geely Holding Co., dropped a plan to merge to instead deepen ties to quicken the pace of developmen­t. The pair will share vehicle platforms, software stacks and advanced connectivi­ty, and will hive off their powertrain activities into a separate unit.

With the support of its Chinese owners, Volvo has ramped up investment in electric cars since 2017, when it first said it was planning to phase out vehicles that rely on combustion engines. Still, the company has only one fully electric model under its own brand name on the market, the compact crossover XC40 Recharge. In addition, Polestar, which is jointly owned by Volvo and Geely, launched its challenger to Tesla Inc.’s Model 3 in 2019.

By 2025, Volvo expects half of the cars it sells to be fully electric and the other half to be hybrids.

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