Volvo to sell only electric cars by 2030 and exclusively online


Volvo’s entire line-up will be fully electric by 2030 as it phases out all cars with internal combustion engines, including hybrids, it said today.

The Chinese-owned Swedish company followed the likes of Ford and Jaguar Land Rover in recent weeks, in outlining plans to ditch petrol and diesel engines by the end of this decade. 

The strategy also includes selling its pure-electric models exclusively online in the next few years – an announcement that comes hours before the brand reveals a new zero-emission car later today. 

Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo’s chief executive, said this morning: ‘I am totally convinced there will be no customers who really want to stay with a petrol engine. We are convinced that an electric car is more attractive for customers.’

Volvo to be all-electric by 2030: The Swedish car brand has today outlined its plans to accelerate the phases out of internal combustion engines, including hybrids

Volvo to be all-electric by 2030: The Swedish car brand has today outlined its plans to accelerate the phases out of internal combustion engines, including hybrids

The Swedish carmaker, which is owned by Hangzhou-based Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, said 50 per cent of its global sales should be fully-electric cars by 2025 and the other half hybrid models.

This will mean an injection of new zero-emission models in the next four years, with a second all-electric model being unveiled this afternoon.

Samuelsson said Volvo will be taking a leaf out of Tesla’s successful book by selling battery electric vehicles with software that allows for wireless upgrades and fixes remotely.

‘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 Samuelsson. 

‘We are fully focused on becoming a leader in the fast-growing premium electric segment.’ 

Henrik Green, chief technology officer at Volvo, added: ‘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. 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.’

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With fewer moving parts, electric cars will eventually become as affordable – and potentially cheaper – to produce as conventional petrol and diesel models, and Samuelsson told MailOnline that he believes the break-even point will be as early as 2025.

He also does not believe that customer resistance will slow the drive to an electric-only range of vehicles. 

Volvo said its introduction of speeds limiters on all new models last year had very little impact on sales. He believed the same will happen with the shift to all electric.

Volvo made the announcement on Tuesday morning, just hours ahead of the brand revealing its second all-electric model - a sister car to the XC40 Recharge (pictured)

Volvo made the announcement on Tuesday morning, just hours ahead of the brand revealing its second all-electric model – a sister car to the XC40 Recharge (pictured)

Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo's chief executive, said this morning the he is 'totally convinced there will be no customers who really want to stay with a petrol engine'

Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo’s chief executive, said this morning the he is ‘totally convinced there will be no customers who really want to stay with a petrol engine’

Volvo's boss added that he doesn't think the brand will lose customers as a result of going electric only, in the same way sales haven't been too impacted by the brand's introduction of speed limiters on all new cars from last year

Volvo’s boss added that he doesn’t think the brand will lose customers as a result of going electric only, in the same way sales haven’t been too impacted by the brand’s introduction of speed limiters on all new cars from last year

Car makers are racing to switch to zero-emission models as they face CO2 emissions targets in Europe and China, plus looming bans in some countries on fossil fuel vehicles.

Last month, Ford said its line-up in Europe will pure-electric or plug-in hybrid by 2026 and entirely electric by 2030

Jaguar Land Rover, owned by Indian group Tata Motors, also said in February that Jaguar will become an all-electric luxury brand by 2025 and the carmaker will launch electric models of its entire line-up by 2030.

Volvo’s announcement also follows General Motors’ pledge earlier this year to make only battery-powered vehicles by 2035. 

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And it’s not just mainstream brands that are making the switch. Luxury carmaker Bentley, owned by Germany’s Volkswagen, said in November that its models will be all electric by 2030.

Electrification is expensive for car makers and as electric vehicles have fewer moving parts, employment in the auto industry is expected to shrink.

Last week, the head of Daimler AG’s truck division said going electric will cost thousands of jobs in the company’s powertrain plants in Germany. 

Following in the footsteps of Tesla, all electric Volvos will have software that allows for over-the-air updates to upgrade packages and fix issues

Following in the footsteps of Tesla, all electric Volvos will have software that allows for over-the-air updates to upgrade packages and fix issues

All electric Volvos will soon be purchased exclusively online in the next few years, it said

All electric Volvos will soon be purchased exclusively online in the next few years, it said

Volvo plans to invest heavily in online sales channels as it looks to simplify the availability of trim levels and also accelerate the delivery process

Volvo plans to invest heavily in online sales channels as it looks to simplify the availability of trim levels and also accelerate the delivery process

Volvo said it will invest heavily in online sales channels to ‘radically reduce’ the complexity of its model line-up and provide customers with transparent pricing.

The carmaker’s global network of 2,400 traditional bricks-and-mortar dealers will remain open to service vehicles and to help customers make online orders.

All purchases will be made exclusively via its website so that customers will be able to choose from a simplified range of pre-configured electric Volvos for quick delivery – but they will still be able to order custom-made models. 

A care package will also bundle up servicing, warranty, roadside assistance, insurance and home-charging options. 

Volvo's chief executive, Håkan Samuelsson (pictured) said: 'We are fully focused on becoming a leader in the fast-growing premium electric segment'

Volvo’s chief executive, Håkan Samuelsson (pictured) said: ‘We are fully focused on becoming a leader in the fast-growing premium electric segment’

Speaking to shifting to entirely online car sales, Samuelsson told MailOnline: ‘It’s getting cars in a very hassle-free way. You order your car online. You press a buy button. There’s a pre-set price. You get better transparency. There’s a less complicated offering. I think the log lists of options went too far.’    

Demand for pure-electric vehicle jumped 186 per cent in 2020, with 108,205 registrations of battery-powered cars during the year. It means that 6.6 per cent of all new models bought in the UK are electric – up from 1.6 per cent in 2019.

In January, 6.9 per cent of all new cars bought were electric, industry figures show. 

Today’s announcement came against a background of industry speculation about Volvo’s Chinese parent company Geely expressing any interest in buying or going into partnership with British rivals Jaguar.

Samuelsson said: ’Jaguar is a very progressive manufacturer when it comes to electrification. It’s I line with Volvo. It encouraged us to be a bit braver.’

He predicted a big jump in the installation of charging points but said it was vital there were sufficient fast-chargers sited strategically between big cities where motorists could stop-off for a short top-up boost of power.

‘If you charge a car it should be like charging a telephone. You need fast-charging on the highways. They have to be strategically located between big cities where you take a break,’ he added.

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