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Autonomous Vehicles

Published on October 18th, 2019 | by Kyle Field


Volvo To Introduce A New EV Each Year, Sell 50% BEVs By 2025

October 18th, 2019 by  

Volvo blasted into the world of fully electric vehicles this week with the introduction of the Volvo XC40 Recharge at a private event in the posh Arts District in Los Angeles, California. As a compact SUV, the XC40 Recharge is a lucrative new entrant into the growing mass of EVs for buyers to choose from and is expected to resonate with buyers in the segment in the United States and beyond.

At the unveiling, Volvo’s leadership team took the time to flesh out the company’s comprehensive strategy for addressing its emissions all the way from its suppliers down through the customer use of the vehicle including tailpipe emissions. It’s an impressive acknowledgement that the OEM has the ability to make a larger impact than is possible when looking solely at its own manufacturing footprint, owning its enabling activity as a provider of gas guzzling, fuel efficient, plug-in, or battery electric vehicles. Volvo sees the opportunity in building a line of lucrative, low or no emission vehicles that are attractive to not only regulators, but customers to set them apart as leaders in the fight against climate change.

Volvo Cars CEO Håkan Samuelsson at the XC40 Recharge event in Los Angeles, California. Image credit: Kyle Field | CleanTechnica

“We believe something else is needed really to turn this tide,” Volvo Cars CEO Håkan Samuelsson said as he painted the backdrop about how sustainability had become the foundation for the company moving forward. Talk was not longer enough, he said in response to the scores of world leaders making baseless climate action proclamations without any actions to back them up.

The world, he said, has grown up into a global village, enable by carbon producing mobility solutions that don’t necessarily need to go away for us to course correct away from the catastrophic climate the world is currently hurdling towards. Travel is fundamentally a good thing and connects humans around the world by breaking down perceived barriers one trip at a time. “It’s very important to move, but it should be made in a sustainable way,” he said.

Volvo Cars CEO Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo Cars CTO Henrik Green, and Volvo Cars Head of Operations Björn Annwall stand in front of the new Volvo XC40 Recharge. Image credit: Kyle Field | CleanTechnica

“We made safety a part of our company,” Samuelsson said. “We should do exactly the same with sustainability.” He drew a parallel to the early days of the shift in the automotive safety culture at Volvo and much like with safety, he believes sustainability will become one of the reasons customers choose Volvo. “We bring it into the company because we believe its good for our business.”

Samuelsson is laser focused on action and is injecting that passion into Volvo as it kicks its journey to more sustainable operations and vehicles into high gear. Following behind Volvo’s initial entrance into the world of fully electric vehicles, Volvo will introduce a new battery electric vehicle each year. “You will soon see the first one [the XC40 Recharge]. More will follow, one per year,” he said.

The steady cadence at which Volvo plans to introduce its fully electric vehicles is Samuelsson showing the world that Volvo is serious, not with words, but with meaningful climate change action in the form of new vehicles that give customers options for cleaning up their transportation emissions. While one new battery electric vehicle per year might not seem like a lot, it is actually a faster rate than Tesla has been deploying vehicles.

The Volvo XC40 Recharge at the Los Angeles, California unveiling event. Image credit: Kyle Field | CleanTechnica

The rapid shift demonstrates just how fast an automotive OEM can convert their lineup of vehicles to electric when they take the challenge seriously. It is clear that Volvo means business here and is backing up its concrete actions with bold proclamations of emission reduction targets. “A Volvo built in 2025 will leave a carbon footprint that is 40% lower than a car we build today,” Samuelsson said. Volvo plans to achieve that number by selling 50% battery electric vehicles by 2025.

Read that last line again. In just under 6 years, Volvo is committing to every other vehicle it sells being fully electric. That is the definition of bold climate targets backed by Volvo’s steady cadence of battery electric vehicles being introduced over the next few years. As demonstrated by the hot off the press XC40 Recharge, they are the exact opposite of compliance cars. Rather, these are Volvo’s hottest vehicles that are being upgraded with all the latest and greatest tech Volvo has to offer to pull in some serious sales volumes.

The Volvo XC40 Recharge at the Los Angeles, California unveiling event. Image credit: Kyle Field | CleanTechnica

The Volvo XC40 Recharge event this week in Los Angeles was a refreshing look at what is possible when a company takes the threat of climate change seriously and flips the entire equation on its head by building some of the best vehicles to wear the Volvo badge in response. Adversity breeds opportunity, and from the looks of the XC40 Recharge this morning and the supporting plans Volvo has to deliver more of the same brilliance in the coming years, Volvo will be cashing in on this opportunity for years to come. 
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About the Author

I'm a tech geek passionately in search of actionable ways to reduce the negative impact my life has on the planet, save money and reduce stress. Live intentionally, make conscious decisions, love more, act responsibly, play. The more you know, the less you need. TSLA investor.

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