Swedish automaker Volvo says it will only sell electric cars by 2030, phasing out all diesel, petrol, and hybrid options in an effort to reduce global carbon emissions. The company previously aimed for half of its cars sales to be electric by 2025, but says the new strategy is an “acceleration” of this goal driven by “strong demand” for its electric options. The company also says future sales of its electric cars in “coming years” will be online-only.
Volvo, which is owned by Chinese conglomerate Geely, launched its first fully-electric car, the XC40 Recharge, last year. The SUV has a roughly 200 mile range and can charge its batteries to 80 percent capacity in 40 minutes. In our time with the car we found it to be an “impressive blend of Swedish ingenuity, crossover utility, and electric performance,” though shipments to the US are currently delayed while Volvo waits on a crucial software update.
By making its future family of electric cars available for sale online only, Volvo is following a similar move from Tesla, which closed most of its physical stores in 2019. Tesla’s move to e-commerce helped the company cut operating expenses, and presumably Volvo is eyeing similar benefits. The company says it will invest “heavily” in its online sales platform while offering customers fewer products with more transparent pricing.
“To remain successful, we need profitable growth. So instead of investing in a shrinking business, we choose to invest in the future — electric and online,” said Volvo’s chief executive Håkan Samuelsson in a press statement. “We are fully focused on becoming a leader in the fast-growing premium electric segment.”
Volvo says there is simply “no long-term future” for cars with internal combustion engines, and it’s not the only automaker to come to this conclusion. UK manufacturer Jaguar says it plans to be an all-electric brand by 2025, while the century-old luxury automaker Bentley aims to hit that same goal by 2030. As these names suggest, going all-electric is more feasible for higher-end brands. Volvo will unveil its second fully-electric car later today.