Volvo will make its entire model line-up electric by 2030 and move its focus to online sales.
The Swedish brand had already committed to phasing out combustion engine cars, saying in 2019 that it would be an all-electric brand within 20 years. It also announced an ambition for half of all its sales to be EVs by 2025 and the rest plug-in hybrids.
However, now it has said it is accelerating the plan as there is no future in combustion engined cars.
Volvo said that expanding legislation and rapidly improving charging infrastructure would accelerate consumer acceptance of EVs and it wanted to move completely away from the shrinking combustion engine business.
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“There is no long-term future for cars with an internal combustion engine,” said Henrik Green, chief technology officer at Volvo Cars. “We are firmly committed to becoming an electric-only car maker and the transition should happen by 2030. It will allow us to meet the expectations of our customers and be a part of the solution when it comes to fighting climate change.”
Volvo launched its first all-electric model - the XC40 Recharge T8 - last year, with UK deliveries beginning soon. It will reveal its second - a compact model in the 40 series - immininetly.
Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive of Volvo Cars said: “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. “We are fully focused on becoming a leader in the fast-growing premium electric segment.”
Sales to move online
At the same time as its electrification strategy, Volvo also announced that its EVs will only be available to buy online.
It said the move reflected its plan to become a major player in the premium electric market, where brands like Tesla already place significant emphasis on online transactions.
As part of the move Volvo said it would invest heavily in its online sales platform and “radically” simplify the buying process with a choice of pre-configured cars and transparent set pricing to end in-dealer haggling over prices, options and incentives.
All cars sold online will come with the Care by Volvo package including servicing, warranty, roadside assistance, as well as insurance and home charging options in some circumstances.
Lex Kerssemakers, Volvo’s head of global commercial operations, 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.”
However, he said that Volvo’s dealers would remain a “crucial” part of the customer experience, handling matters such as car preparation, delivery and servicing.
“Online and off-line need to be fully and seamlessly integrated,” he added. “Wherever the customer is in their journey – online, in a showroom, in a Volvo Studio, or driving the car – the customer experience needs to be top-notch.”