Volvo CEO: Consumers Want EVs, So That’s What We’ll Make

Volvo

MAY 23 2017 BY MARK KANE 12

Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson revealed that his company is updating its business model to a changing world; a world that is demanding more and more plug-in vehicles.

Volvo Cars’ T8 Twin Engine Range – S90, V90, XC60 and XC90 T8 Twin Engine AWD Inscription, Crystal White Pearl

Safer, more sustainable and convenient cars are what the consumer needs today, and Volvo’s answer for that is to develop the next generation of fully autonomous, electrified and connected vehicles.

By 2025 Volvo intends to sell 1 million plug-in electric cars….which is apparently a popular number, as VW recently said they had the same goal (although on a annual basis).

Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson said from the UN Global Compact Nordic Network in Gothenburg, Sweden:

“Our customers want safer, more sustainable and convenient cars. We can meet that demand, be a force for change and grow our business at the same time. I am confident that our next generation of fully autonomous, electrified and connected vehicles will help make the cities of the future cleaner, safer and smarter.”

As an example, he will underline the importance of Volvo’s electrification strategy. “We recognize the limitations of the internal combustion engine and the appetite for change in society,” Mr Samuelsson will say. “That is why we have such an ambitious target when it comes to electrification. Our commitments will not only help protect the environment and make people’s lives better and safer. They also make perfect business sense.”

Lynk & Co EV Sedan (details) – which will be build off of Volvo’s CMA platform

Volvo’s statement on the conference:

“The meeting represents one of the biggest gatherings of Nordic corporate sustainability experts under the auspices of the United Nations. Over 190 delegates from 100 companies and organisations are meeting at Volvo Cars headquarters to discuss how business can support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Volvo Cars is a founding member of the UN Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative.

In his opening speech as host of the meeting, Mr Samuelsson will tell the gathered delegates that customer expectations and demands are changing and that the car industry will have to change with them. Sustainability is no longer a simple box-ticking exercise, but business-critical as well as a significant business opportunity for those companies that get it right, Mr Samuelsson will say.”

“Volvo Cars is adapting to this new reality by making sustainable business an integral part of its corporate strategy. As part of its sustainability programme, the company has identified nine commitments directly supporting the SDGs that were agreed by all UN member states in 2015.

Volvo Cars believes these commitments will contribute to its sustainable profitability and growth. For example, it has committed to having up to 1 million electrified Volvos on the road by 2025, and aims to have climate-neutral manufacturing operations that same year. It has also stated the most ambitious safety vision in the industry: by 2020, no one should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo.

The company is making good progress in reaching these targets: for example, CO2 emissions from its European manufacturing plants have fallen by 70 per cent between 2004 and 2016. It currently offers six plug-in hybrids in its range and plans to make every new model available as an electrified vehicle. New world-leading passive and active safety systems have significantly reduced the risk for traffic accidents and serious injuries for Volvo drivers.

Volvo Cars knows it cannot make progress by itself. That is why the company focuses on both private and public partnerships in sustainable development. It cooperates closely with safety organisations and public bodies to share its knowledge and advance traffic safety, it works with both public and private partners in the Drive Me autonomous drive experiment and it joined hands with Stora Enso and the Belgian government to realise a 40 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions at its manufacturing plant in Ghent.

The other commitments within Volvo’s sustainability framework include ensuring no fatalities or serious injuries involving any of its employees or contractors, an aim to be a leader in customer well-being by offering better filters and materials, and promoting a diverse and inclusive company culture.

This year’s annual meeting of the UN Global Compact Nordic Network takes place at the Volvohallen conference center, part of Volvo Cars’ global corporate headquarters in Sweden, on May 8 and 9.”

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12 Comments on "Volvo CEO: Consumers Want EVs, So That’s What We’ll Make"

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Eco

It all sounds good but Volvo’s CMA architecture is still based on ICE drive trains e.g. the battery is placed in the center tunnel and NOT like a skateboard which means the center of gravity is not low and the weight distribution is not even.

The battery placed in the center tunnel has its advantages.

For example, if the battery isn’t below your feet, you can have a lower height and more aerodynamic car. The Hyundai IONIQ Electric is the perfect example.

comment image

Yet, you can see that in the IONIQ EV’s case, there is still room for improvement. If I recall correctly, next year the IONIQ EV will have its battery extended to the front seats, while maintain the central tunnel. Passing from a T to a I shape.

To make very efficient EVs, the batteries can be under our butts, but not under our feet 🙂

Pushmi-Pullyu

I can see the theoretical advantage of putting a gap in the underfloor battery pack of a “skateboard” EV design; a gap to lower the floor for the rear seats. For example, if Tesla could move the part of the battery pack that’s underneath the floor in front of the rear seats, by doubling the layer of the pack underneath the back seats, then they could improve the headroom in back. (On the other hand, having the rear seat passengers sit lower than those in the front seats would not be best for conversation or for sightseeing out the windows.)

But otherwise, putting the pack in as a flat shape under the floor is absolutely the best approach, for many reasons.

Putting the battery pack in as a “tunnel” is absolutely not the best approach, as anyone with a Volt can tell you! Why throw away one of the advantages of an EV by putting in a “tunnel” as if there’s a gasmobile drivetrain there?

rawlsio

Seems like the simple geometry of the “flat pack” works better and is more space efficient, especially for SUV / CUVs that ride high anyway. But ultimately, you’re going to need to use that real estate in order to avoid weird impingements into the cabin/trunk like the Ford Focus and Fusion have…

David Murray

With all of these companies announcing such ambitious plans, the 2020s are going to be a very interesting time in the automotive landscape.

CLIVE

Absolutely.

The car industry will be a whole new thing by 2020.

SJC

Volvo could make an S40 EV to win their brand back, better not wait too long though.

Maaz Jilani

Such an exciting future. Props to those automakers stepping up. And to tesla for lighting a fire under their butts.

Pushmi-Pullyu

Boy, if the actions by traditional auto makers matched all their talk about how they’re embracing the EV revolution, then EVs would already be outselling gasmobiles!

It’s time for auto makers to quit merely talking the talk, and start walking the walk.

Philip Reeve

I’m sure you’re correct, PP. “Embracing the EV revolution” is the last thing on their minds. They (along with the other large auto manufacturers) have been diligently trying to kill off Tesla for years already. Their sudden claims, to have embraced EVs, is a frantic (and pathetic) attempt to remain relevant in the face of a public which is beginning to realise that they’ve been suckered by big auto for so long.

If Tesla were to roll over and die within the next couple of months, big auto would breathe a collective sigh of relief and go back to life as usual. If not, they will be forced to put on a brave face and do their best to kid us that they’re leading the revolution.

Carl

I wonder if insideev is bsessing us here or if the OEMs really are BS us?? Here is what I know about life… those who have it don’t need to brag about it.. It’s the know nothings & do nothings that brag about themselves… like a certain ‘Agent Orange’ dumping in the WH

TomArt

That’s pretty close to my observations, as well…and, yes, the current administration is the poster child…