Volvo targets a million EV cars by 2025

Swedish carmaker Volvo Cars has announced a commitment to sell a total of one million electric vehicles (EVs) by 2020 through the introduction of a new range of plug-in hybrids and its first all-electric model.

The manufacturer’s pledge forms the centrepiece of Volvo’s  new Sustainability Programme which includes a host of other ambitious initiatives: to impose climate-neutral operations by 2025; to have 35% of women in leading positions by 2020; and to work with international partners to promote sustainable business worldwide.

Speaking of the group’s EV ambitions, Volvo Cars chief executive Håkan Samuelsson said: “It is a deliberately ambitious target. It is going to be a challenge, but Volvo wants to be at the forefront of this shift to electrification. Sustainability is nothing new or something that sits outside our operations, it is something that forms an integral part of everything we do. It is simply our way of operating.

“This new sustainability commitment reflects Volvo Cars’ fundamental belief that conducting business in an ethical manner and taking social and environmental responsibility is a prerequisite of being successful as a company.”

This EV commitment is the culmination of ongoing efforts from Volvo in the low-emission vehicle space over the past five years. The company recently developed two all-new vehicle designs for larger and smaller cars – Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) and Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) – to incorporate either hybrid or fully electric car technology. The soon-to-be-launched global range of 40 series cars built on SPA and the larger 90 series and 60 series cars on SPA will all have electrified versions.

Last month, Volvo claimed that a global standard for electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure is “sorely needed” as the last piece in the jigsaw to cement the rising popularity of EVs. In October 2015, Volvo announced a new strategy which aims for electrified vehicles to account for 10% of its total car sales by 2019.

Nissan’s record

The announcement from Volvo comes in the same week that fellow car manufacturer Nissan has announced a record year for electric vehicle fleet sales in Europe.

Nissan sold more than 7,500 LEAFs and e-N200s to fleet operators in Europe in 2015, representing a 45% year-on-year increase on the previous fiscal year. The low running costs and practicality of Nissan EVs resulted in the Japanese firm commanding a 28% share of the pure electric fleet market.

Nissan Europe’s director of electric vehicles Gareth Dunsmore said: “It’s great to see Nissan EV fleet demand going from strength-to-strength as businesses catch on to the many marked advantages electric vehicles have to offer.

“Nissan not only offers a great pure electric range for businesses, but we have also employed EV fleet specialists in most European countries, trained to provide advice and support to customers, offering analysis of total ownership costs and charging infrastructure.”

Nissan – which has been leading the charge on the electrification of the automotive market – also made the headlines yesterday (20 April) for uncovering a testing scandal from Mitsubishi Motor Corporation, which admitted to manipulating data to make 625,000 vehicles appear more fuel-efficient.

George Ogleby

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