European car manufacturers are beginning to embrace electrification in a big way. Last month, JLR announced that Jaguar cars will go all-electric by the year 2025, followed by Land Rover, which will launch its first all-electric vehicle in 2024. And now, it’s Volvo’s turn to ditch the good old internal combustion engine. The Swedish company has announced that by 2025, it aims for 50 percent of its global sales to consist of fully electric cars, with the rest being hybrids. And that’s not all; Volvo aims to be a fully electric car company by 2030 and is committed to becoming a leader in the fast-growing premium electric car market. Yes, that’s right, by 2030 Volvo intends to only sell full EVs and will completely phase out IC-engined cars and hybrids from its global portfolio. Tesla, you’ve been warned.
Volvo, a car manufacturer also known for the significant work it’s done in the area of automotive safety, seeks to reduce the carbon footprint of its cars over the vehicles’ entire lifespan and expects that upcoming legislation – not just in Europe but in most of its markets worldwide, including India – will push more widespread adoption of electric vehicles. A fast-growing network of EV charging stations will also help a mass market move towards electrification, believes Volvo, which is working with a firm conviction that the market for IC-engined cars will continue to shrink over the next decade. ‘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,’ says Hakan Samuelsson, CEO, Volvo Cars. ‘There is no long-term future for cars with an internal combustion engine. We are firmly committed to becoming an electric-only car maker and the transition should happen by 2030,’ adds Henrik Green, CTO, Volvo.
Volvo is not only pushing towards electrification but also a whole new way of selling cars, by moving away from the traditional car dealership and towards an online sales model. The company has announced that it will launch a whole new family of electric cars in the coming years and that these cars will only be available online. In a move that’s aimed at improving pricing transparency and reducing complexity, Volvo is committed to investing heavily in new online sales channels under the ‘Care by Volvo’ name. On its online store, volvocars.com, the company will simplify the process for signing up for an electric Volvo and make it as easy and efficient as possible for customers to get the car they want, with the configuration they prefer, in a seamless manner. ‘The future of Volvo Cars is defined by three pillars: electric, online and growth. We want to offer our customers peace of mind by taking away complexity while getting and driving the car. Simplification and convenience are key to everything we do,’ says Lex Kerssemakers, who heads global commercial operations at Volvo.
However, while Volvo will focus on online sales with its new range of electric cars, the company’s retail partners will remain an important part of the equation, since they will still be responsible for preparing, delivering and servicing cars. Alongside developing its online sales channels, Volvo will also work towards building even stronger relationships with its retail partners, so that aftersales service should also be a hassle-free experience for its customers. The focus will be on eliminating the need for any negotiation in terms of costs and pricing, and building trust. The future, indeed, is going to be simply electric.