With the underlying technology behind electric vehicles steadily improving, the infrastructure strengthening, and customers becoming increasingly more aware of benefits of electric vehicles, more car manufacturers are expected to enter the market. One of them is Volvo, who aims to sell a total of up to one million electric vehicles by 2025.
This goal forms the core of Volvo’s new Sustainability Program, which the company calls Omtanke (“caring” and “consideration” in Swedish). “We are a brand for people who care about other people and the world in which we live,” says Volvo on their website. Calling this program “ambitious” would probably be an understatement. Volvo wants to achieve climate-neutral operations by 2025, employ 35% of women in leading positions by 2020, and promote sustainable business around the world with the help of their international partners.
Håkan Samuelsson, the president and chief executive at Volvo, explained they would like to turn their plans into reality by having, at least, two hybrid variants of every model they sell and release their first all-electric car in 2019. He went on to say, “It is a deliberately ambitious target. It is going to be a challenge, but Volvo wants to be at the forefront of this shift to electrification. This new sustainability commitment reflects Volvo Cars’ fundamental belief that conducting business in an ethical manner and taking social and environmental responsibility is a prerequisite for being successful as a company.”
Volvo has actually been planning their entry for quite some time. They’ve spent a good chunk of the last five years preparing for the necessary adjustment and advocating the creation of a global standard for electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The company has manufactured to modular vehicle architectures: Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) for larger cars and Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) for smaller cars. These architectures are designed to incorporate hybrid or electric car technology.
The Scalable Product Architecture will be used to for the 90 Series and the 60 Series cars, while the Compact Modular Architecture will be the backbone of the new 40 Series – more specifically, a new Volvo V40 and XC40.
The entire industry will definitely closely watch how Volvo manages to re-inventing itself and deliver on their promises. Their 2016 XC90, a mid-size luxury crossover SUV, has received stellar reviews and is a great example of how capable Volvo really is. If they take their existing experience and expertise and apply it in the right way, we could be looking at the new future leader of the electric vehicle market.