HT Auto EV Conclave: Volvo to introduce one electric car in India every year
Volvo Auto India has been making significant moves in the electric mobility world as it aims to join the electric vehicle (EV) bandwagon in the luxury car space in the country. With its first all-electric offering – Volvo XC40 Recharge that was showcased in the country in March this year, all set to make an entry into the premium electric space here, MD, Jyoti Malhotra talked about the company’s sustainability approach, plan of action and the future of electrification.
Speaking at the HT Auto EV Conclave, Malhotra said that Volvo Auto India has a clear roadmap to introduce one electric vehicle in the country every year. It aims for EVs to contribute at least 80 per cent of sales by 2025 here. This is in line with Volvo's global ambition to become a fully electric car brand by 2030. "In India, this can be achieved faster given the government's electric vision and encouragement via central and state policies. If you put together our global ambition and Indian government's electric vision, this is a natural outcome," Malhotra said.
He believes that XC40 is a well accepted vehicle platform globally and thus an electric variant based on this SUV will ensure success. "Early responses from customers and dealerships make us confident that customers will lap it (XC40 Recharge) up," Malhotra elaborated.
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Talking about not taking a hybrid route but taking on electric vehicles in full spirit, Malhotra said at the conclave that India is ready for a transition to full-fledged electric vehicles. "Government's tax policies and incentives are a signal, making it clear that the government is pushing us (OEMs) towards a full battery electric future. It is important we align ourselves to government's vision," Malhotra said.
He explained how customers in the country are already willing to dive into the electric mobility world. "Customers are willing to do a transition towards electric... and are waiting for right electric car to come up," he added. Volvo has started transitioning from diesel to petrol vehicles and is simultaneously introducing electric vehicles. "We believe this is the right way to move in the Indian market."
Volvo is also confident about its after sales services for electric vehicles in India as it has been addressing all the important aspects ahead of the launch of its XC40 Recharge EV here. Malhotra said that upskilling and upgradation in dealerships is the key. "As more and more EVs come in and become smarter, even a remote technician can diagnose what is going on. Gearbox and engine related issues go away. We are already in this process of upgrading and upskilling people in dealerships. This will not be a concern on our part," he said.
Talking about the challenges faced by the country in terms of EV adoption, Malhotra noted that there is a need to build wider charging infra. However, he believes that Volvo's customers come from a privileged background and hence do not reply on public infra. "This gives us confidence that our customers will not depend on public chargers. They will be ready to invest in chargers at home and workplace," he added. "We are doing out best to educate customers to overcome range anxiety to adopt new technology."
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Malhotra also addressed the range anxiety related to EVs, saying that XC40 Recharge will come with a range above 400 kms. "This is good enough for weekend getaways, especially between locations with charging availability. The vehicle can largely be used within city for 50-60 kms on one side. These distances become easily accessible with a range of 400 kms," he added.
He believes that luxury segment will be faster in adoption of EVs and become flag bearers, helping India progress to mass adoption of battery-powered vehicles.