Volvo plans to become a “fully electric car company” by 2030, phasing out production of its gas, diesel, and hybrid vehicles to become an early “leader” in the growing electric car market. The company also plans to move all vehicle sales online by its 2030 deadline.
At the time of writing, Volvo sells just two EVs—the XC40 Recharge and the newly-announced, online-only C40 Recharge. Both cars start in the $30,000 to $50,000 range, a sign that Volvo is aiming closer to the consumer market than the luxury market. In the short-term, Volvo hopes that electric vehicles will make up half of its car sales by 2025, which seems like a realistic goal, given the popularity of Volvo’s hybrid vehicles.
But is an online-only sales strategy a good idea? Well, maybe the term “online-only” is a little misleading. Henrik Green, Volvo Cars’ chief technology officer, confirmed to CNBC that Volvo will continue to offer test drives for its electric vehicles. But it won’t sell any vehicles off the lot. Instead, customers can go to a dealership, pick their car, and walk through the online ordering process with a salesperson. Selling cars to-order eliminates the need for giant, expensive dealerships, and should significantly reduce Volvo’s overhead (and by extension, the price of its EVs).
Volvo isn’t the only manufacturer to set itself a fully-electric deadline. GM plans to go fully electric by 2035, with brands like Bently aiming for 2030. Even Ford hopes to go fully electric by 2030 … in Europe, at least.