Volvo the latest to take on Tesla with vow to be all electric by 2030

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Volvo has become the latest luxury car maker to announce it will only be making electric vehicles (EVs) from 2030.


The Swedish car group, which is owned by Chinese conglomerate Zhejiang Geely, said it was bringing forward its plans for EVs because of changing legislation and the rapid expansion of fast-charging infrastructure.


Volvo said it expects to phase out new petrol and diesel models by 2025 with, at that point, hybrids to account for 50% of sales and EVs the remainder.


Previously, the carmaker said its plans were for these two product groups to account for half of sales by 2025.


Hakan Samuelson, chief executive, said that bringing forward its timetable would involve significant changes to both product design and how its plants are set up with the group also set to shift all of its sales online.


“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. We are fully focused on becoming a leader in the fast-growing premium electric segment,” he said in a statement.


Several luxury car manufacturers have recently unveiled plans to electrify their ranges to head off the possibility of Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) taking an unassailable lead in the fast-developing EV market.


Jaguar Land Rover said in February it would only produce electric cars from 2025 and roll out its first EV model by 2024.


JLR is owned by Indian group Tata and intends to produce hydrogen-fuelled versions of its ranges, something that Volvo has rejected.


The Swedish firm said it does not think there will be sufficient demand for fuel-cell-powered models, while the issue of the availability of hydrogen to refuel also has yet to be addressed.


The EV market has been rife with speculation that Apple is set to enter through a collaboration with one of the Chinese manufacturers or even VW, though the German company dismissed the talk earlier in the year.


One of the companies mentioned as a potential partner for Apple is Geely Auto, which is also owned by Volvo’s parent Zhejiang Geely but is a separate business.


Plans for Geely Auto and Volvo to merge were unexpectedly scrapped last week with the two groups instead to collaborate on manufacturing parts for a range of EVs to be produced by both companies.


Reports suggested that Zhejiang Geely might seek to list Volvo having acquired it from Ford (NYSE:F) in 2010 for US$1.8bn.


Ford, itself, recently announced that its European arm would make only electric passenger vehicles by 2030 alongside a US$1bn investment to upgrade its Cologne manufacturing facility to produce a mass-market EV by 2023.


“It underlines our commitment to Europe and a modern future with electric vehicles at the heart of our strategy for growth,” the US car group said at the time.

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