Pathway to full Electrication in 2030
Partners with tech, battery suppliers, and brings advanced software development in house.
During the live event from Gothenburg, Sweden, the company gave audiences a first glimpse of the technologies that underpin Volvo Cars’ future, in which all next generation cars will be purely electric. Representatives from Google, Luminar, Northvolt and NVIDIA also jo in the event.
“As we transition to becoming a pure electric premium car company by 2030, we are committed to creating the best cars in our 94-year history,” said Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive. “This is an exciting time in our development and we will deliver on growing customer demand for pure electric cars that offer seamless connectivity, industry-leading safety standards and advanced autonomous drive.”
Volvo Cars is committed to all-out electrification and has ambitious plans for its next generation of fully electric cars. It aims for cars that more than double the real world driving range compared to its current electric cars, allow for much faster battery charging and offer lower costs for owning and charging alike. By the middle of this decade it aims to sell 1.2 million cars globally, with at least half being fully electric cars.
Together with a switch to core computing inside its cars through cutting edge NVIDIA technology, Volvo Cars will also move its software development in-house and focus on shorter development cycles, reflecting the growing role of software as a differentiator for the car of the future and a driver of profitable growth.
A clear departure from the static approach to development that has dominated the automotive industry for so long, this will allow Volvo Cars to improve flexibility, boost development speeds and quickly roll out new services, technologies and software over the air.
Reflecting Volvo Cars’ position as an industry leader in safety, the next generation of Volvo models will set new standards in safety. It will make its future cars hardware-ready for autonomous drive by including LiDAR sensors from Luminar as standard, while it is looking into harnessing the power of real-time data to constantly improve safety levels in its future cars.
Volvo Cars will also continue its collaboration with Google, taking their industry-leading approach to infotainment and connectivity to the next level. A new infotainment system will focus on offering a simple, serene and safe experience, as well as a seamless integration between Volvo Cars and Google ecosystems.
Volvo Car Group intends to establish a joint venture with leading Swedish battery company Northvolt to develop and produce more sustainable batteries, tailored to power the next generation of pure electric Volvo and Polestar cars.
As a first step for the 50/50 joint venture, Volvo Car Group and Northvolt aim to set up a research and development centre in Sweden that will begin operations in 2022.
The centre is intended to build on the battery expertise within both companies and develop next-generation, state-of-the-art battery cells and vehicle integration technologies, specifically developed for use in Volvo and Polestar cars.
The planned joint venture will also establish a new gigafactory in Europe with a potential capacity of up to 50 gigawatt hours (GWh) per year. Production is scheduled to start in 2026.
As part of the plans, Volvo Car Group also looks to source 15 GWh of battery cells per year from the existing Northvolt Ett battery plant in Skellefteå, Sweden starting in 2024.
Alongside previously announced battery supply agreements, a partnership with Northvolt will secure the European battery cell needs that will drive Volvo Cars’ ambitious electrification plans. Volvo Cars aims to sell 50 per cent pure electric cars by the middle of this decade, and by 2030 it aims to sell only fully electric cars.
Today, the production of batteries for Volvo Car Group’s fully electric cars represents a large part of the car’s total lifecycle carbon emissions. By working with Northvolt, a leader in sustainable battery production, and producing batteries near its manufacturing facilities in Europe, Volvo Car Group can reduce the environmental footprint attributable to battery sourcing and production for its future cars.
“By working with Northvolt we will secure a supply of high-quality, more sustainable battery cells for our pure electric cars,” said Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive at Volvo Car Group. “Working closely with Northvolt will also allow us to strengthen our in-house development capabilities.”
The new gigafactory, planned to be powered by 100 percent clean energy, is expected to employ around 3,000 people. The location of the new plant is yet to be decided. The first car to feature battery cells developed through the joint venture will be the electric successor to Volvo Cars’ best-selling XC60 model.
“Volvo Cars and Polestar are industry leaders in the transition to electrification and perfect partners on the journey ahead as we aim to develop and produce the world’s most sustainable battery cells,” said Peter Carlsson, Co-Founder and CEO of Northvolt. “We are proud to become their exclusive battery cell production partner in Europe.”
The partnership with Northvolt is key to Volvo Cars’ ambition to become a leader in the premium electric car segment and sell only pure electric vehicles by 2030. It also represents an important step in the expansion of Volvo Car Group’s in-house development competence, coupled with partnerships with true technology leaders.
For Polestar, it gives a further boost to its European growth ambitions and underlines its commitment to the Polestar 0 project which aims to create a truly climate neutral vehicle by 2030.