Last year, Volvo announced that it was going “all electric“ by 2019, but it was actually only adding electric motors to each model. Now, the company is clarifying its electrification plans with an announcement that they aim for 50% of sales to be ‘fully electric’ by 2025.
That’s a significantly more aggressive goal than simply adding “electric” options to all models, which can mean anything from a simple hybrid to a plug-in hybrid to an all-electric vehicle. Håkan Samuelsson, president and CEO of Volvo Cars, made the announcement at the Beijing Auto Show today:
Last year we made a commitment to electrification in preparation for an era beyond the internal combustion engine. Today we reinforce and expand that commitment in the world’s leading market for electrified cars. China’s electric future is Volvo Cars’ electric future.
Volvo currently doesn’t have a fully electric vehicle, but it is expected to soon bring to market an all-electric XC40 compact SUV.
The company also relaunched its Polestar performance brand as an electric vehicle brand with a factory in China.
It weirdly started with the Polestar 1, a low volume and highly expensive plug-in hybrid, but it also announced that all other vehicles under the new brand will be fully electric – starting with the Polestar 2, which they first claimed would be a Tesla Model 3 competitor. However, they have since been walking away from that comparison.
That’s a way more interesting and aggressive goal compared to other established automakers.As I recall, the only other legacy automaker with a similar goal is Porsche. Most other automakers aim for about 25% of sales over a similar timeframe and some of them even include plug-in hybrids in that goal.
While I congratulate Volvo for being more aggressive, I’ve often discussed my opinion on those timelines being way off. I believe that at some point between 2020 and 2025, there will be so many great EVs on the market that no one in their right mind will want to buy anything other than an all-electric vehicle.
Maybe the production capacity will not be there yet for everyone to have access to one, but it will still force all the legacy automakers to change their plans and move to all-electric vehicles more quickly.Those who see that coming and prepare for it as soon as possible will move easier through the transition, but I think that some might fail and create opportunities for the multitude of EV startups that have been launched over the last few years.