BLOOMBERG/PATRICK T. FALLON
Volvo is tying the launch of its first all-electric vehicle—the XC40 Recharge crossover—to a broader plan for shrinking the carbon footprint of its models by 40 per cent through 2025 and is backing that pledge with a promise to pay the first year’s worth of charging costs for owners of its plug-in hybrids, starting with the 2021 model year, reported Bloomberg.
The Swedish automaker placed itself at the forefront of electric car hype in 2017 when it vowed to rid its line-up of cars running purely on fossil fuels by 2025. To get there, Volvo is going to roll out a new battery-electric model every year until 2025, starting with its XC SUVs, said Hakan Samuelsson, Volvo’s Chief Executive Officer.
“We believe we should treat sustainability as much of an integrated part of our business as safety, not just something we do as an add-on, and at Volvo, we are making it part of our product offering,” said Samuelsson.
Buyers of 2021 model year hybrids will be able to claim a refund for their electricity costs during the first year of ownership based on power consumption data extracted from Volvo’s app for Apple and Android smartphones.
Volvo stated that the XC40, which Volvo unveiled this week in Los Angeles, will have 200 miles of range in the US, 402 horsepower and takes 40 minutes to get to 80 per cent battery capacity on a fast-charging system. That compares to the 325-mile range of Tesla’s Model X SUV, which starts at $84,990.
Samuelsson said Volvo will start producing its first EV late next year and price it to compete with Tesla’s cheaper and smaller Model 3 sedan, which starts at about $39,000 but has been selling on average for roughly $50,000.
The electric XC40 will join a wave of new EVs debuting to keep up with tightening emissions regulations in China and Europe. While uptake remains slow, carmakers including Volkswagen and Daimler have launched new models like the Audi e-tron and Mercedes EQC to chase after Tesla.