Volvo says it will make only electric vehicles by 2030. And if you want one, you'll have to buy it online.
The Swedish automaker said Tuesday it is phasing out the production of all cars with internal combustion engines — including hybrids. "There is no long-term future for cars with an internal combustion engine," said Henrik Green, Volvo's chief technology officer.
Volvo's announcement follows General Motors' pledge earlier this year to make only battery-powered vehicles by 2035. GM's CEO Mary Barra also promised the company would be net carbon-neutral by 2040, reducing the greenhouse gas pollution it produces and purchasing carbon offsets to make up for existing emissions.
Volvo also said that, while its all-electric vehicles will be sold exclusively online, dealerships will "remain a crucial part of the customer experience and will continue to be responsible for a variety of important services such as selling, preparing, delivering and servicing cars."
As part of the announcement Tuesday, the Swedish automaker unveiled its second fully electric car, the C40 Recharge, a follow-up to last year's XC40 Recharge. The coupe-SUV can be charged to 80% in about 40 minutes. Volvo said its goal is to have half of its global sales to be fully electric cars by 2025, with the remaining half made up of hybrids.
Described by the company as a sleeker version of an SUV, the C40 Recharge comes with an infotainment system developed in partnership with Google and based on Google's Android operating system.
Offering unlimited data, the infotainment system features Google Maps, Google Assistant voice control, Google Play apps and other services such as over-the-air software updates expected to improve performance as new updates become available. Other car features include high driving seating and is available in a range of color and deco options. The C40 is also the first Volvo model to be completely leather-free.
The fully electric C40 Recharge will go in production this fall at the Volvo Cars manufacturing plant in Ghent, Belgium, where the XC40 is manufactured. It will be available for purchase online only.
Automakers around the world are ramping up production of electric vehicles as charging technology improves and governments impose stricter pollution regulations.
"We are firmly committed to becoming an electric-only car maker," Green said. "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."
Despite the rising number of EVs available in the U.S., fully electric vehicles accounted for less than 2% of new vehicle sales last year. Americans continue to spend record amounts on gas-powered trucks and SUVs.
About 2.5 million electric vehicles were sold worldwide last year and industry analyst IHS Markit forecasts that to increase by 70% in 2021.
Volvo says it sold 661,713 cars in about 100 countries cars worldwide in 2020. According to Autodata Corp., 107,626 of those vehicles were sold in the U.S.
Founded in 1927, Volvo Cars has been owned by China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group since 2010.
First published on March 2, 2021 / 2:04 PM
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