Volvo to go all-electric by 2030 with a new line-up that will be sold online only
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LONDON - Volvo's entire car line-up will be fully electric by 2030, the Chinese-owned Swedish car brand said on Tuesday, joining a growing number of carmakers planning to phase out fossil-fuel engines by the end of this decade.
"I am totally convinced there will no customers who really want to stay with a petrol engine," Volvo Chief Executive Håkan Samuelsson told reporters when asked about future demand for electric vehicles. "We are convinced that an electric car is more attractive for customers."
The Swedish carmaker said 50 percent of its global sales should be fully-electric cars by 2025 and the other half hybrid models.
Owned by Hangzhou-based Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, Volvo said it will launch a new family of electric cars in the next few years, all of which will be sold online only. Volvo will unveil its second all-electric model, the C40, later on Tuesday.
Transactions will be online-only
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 2400 traditional bricks-and-mortar dealers will remain open to service vehicles and to help customers make online orders.
Via volvocars.com 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.
But where does this leave the dealers?
Although the company will be investing heavily in online sales platforms, it also plans to build stronger customer relationships together with its retail partners.
“They 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,” Volvo said.
The company also plans to offer wireless upgrades and fixes for its new electric models - an approach pioneered by Tesla.
Many other carmakers also going all-electric
Carmakers 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 be fully electric by 2030, while Tata owned Jaguar Land Rover said its Jaguar brand will be entirely electric by 2025 and the carmaker will launch electric versions of its entire line-up by 2030.
Last November, luxury carmaker Bentley, owned by Germany's Volkswagen, said its models will be all electric by 2030.
Electrification is expensive for carmakers and as electric vehicles have fewer moving parts, employment in the motor industry is expected to shrink.
Last week, the head of Daimler's truck division said going electric will cost thousands of jobs in the company's powertrain plants in Germany.
IOL & Reuters