At a time when most of the carmakers around the world are struggling to recover from the ongoing coronavirus crisis, Volvo Cars seems upbeat about a turning it around. The Chinese-owned European carmaker sees the situation as an opportunity to 'invest in the future, generating sustainable growth and millions of jobs'.
Chief Executive at Volvo Cars, Hakan Samuelsson, has written an article emphasising the need to carry on electrification plans even amid the ongoing crisis. He reminded carmakers about their roles towards the climate and the need to cut down on carbon emission.
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Samuelsson said Volvo aims for half of its car sales to be fully electric, and the rest hybrid vehicles by 2025. The target is in line with the company's ambition to have climate neutral manufacturing by 2025, part of a wider climate plan that aims to reduce the overall carbon footprint per car by 40 per cent between 2018 and 2025. By 2040, Volvo Cars aims to be a climate neutral company.
Earlier, Samuelsson had said that a fifth of all new Volvos sold in 2020 should be plug-ins or all-electric, compared with just 6.5% of the total last year.
He wrote, "Stalling the electrification plans or seeking support for conventional car sales would be the wrong way. We should not let our climate pay for the pandemic. People want sustainable products and expect us to act. We see that in our sales figures, the share of electrified cars has doubled despite the pandemic."
He added, "Supporting investments in charging infrastructure and renewable energy are what we need."
(Also read: Volvo says virus won’t slow its rollout of self-driving car tech)
Samuelsson specifically wrote about the European market, where the European Commission’s 750-billion euro package is expected to offer much needed stimulus to the struggling carmakers. He wrote, "Europe should grab the opportunity and focus on a recovery based on green investments into a climate neutral economy."
(Also read: Volvo prepares to speed up autonomous drive technology for its cars)
"To reinforce our stance, Volvo Cars today joins the Green Recovery Alliance. The Alliance brings together companies, NGOs, government officials and others in a Call for Action for economic recovery based on sustainability," wrote Samuelsson.
The stakes are high for Volvo’s electric strategy because conventional SUVs made up more than half of sales last year and are largely behind the carmaker’s success since the takeover by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group a decade ago.