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Volvo Australia accelerates electrification plan


2023 Volvo C40 single-motor front

Volvo throws down the gauntlet with ambitious plans for 2026.

Like most brands, Volvo has committed to being electric by a certain date.

While a large group of brands plan to be electric by 2035, Volvo's original plan was to be electric by 2030.

Mike Tyson says, "everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth."

That saying has nothing to do with Volvo's announcement, because at a small gathering in the Barossa Valley late last week, Volvo Australia announced its intention to fast-track the electrification of its brand.

2026 is now the year that Volvo will be completely electric.

Volvo electric-only in just 4 years

All Volvo vehicles currently have some form of electrification, whether it be a plug-in hybrid or mild hybrid system.

It also has the stupendously fast XC40 Pure Electric and newly launched C40, which run completely on electricity.

But Volvo Australia reckons full electrification by 2030 isn't fast enough – that it has a duty to Australians and the planet to bring this date forward in order to pave the way for more ambitious targets.

The brand's stance is evident in the newly launched Volvo C40, which uses recycled materials and even tracks its suppliers of cobalt using the blockchain, to ensure that it is being extracted from the ground as ethically as possible.

2023 Volvo C40 boot

Overall the vehicle has a much smaller footprint as a result.

"Volvo Cars has one of the most ambitious climate plans in the car industry which involves consistently reducing the life cycle carbon footprint per car through concrete action," said Stephen Connor, managing director of Volvo Car Australia.

2026 is now the year that Volvo will be completely electric.

"Globally, Volvo is firmly committed to becoming an electric-only carmaker by 2030, but in Australia we will make the transition happen by 2026," Connor said.

Short-term pain for long-term gain

Volvo says it understands and expects that it may lose customers in the short term, but also feels obliged, given that the internal combustion engine and manufacturing processes of vehicles have contributed as much as they have.

The managing director continued, "There is no long-term future for cars with an internal combustion engine. So, instead of investing in a shrinking business, we choose to invest in the future, which is fully electric."

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Volvo also recognises that there is still some hesitation among consumers that the infrastructure in Australia isn't up to scratch – but it has a plan for that too.

Dealerships will, as fast as time allows, be fitted with charging points, so that customers can charge their cars, for free, as they need. If you're going to Westfield and there is a dealership across the road, plug in, walk across and shop. Alternatively, you can always grab a coffee at the dealership itself free of charge.

The passion with which this message was delivered and the use of the blockchain to track suppliers gives me the impression that we will see some big developments over the next few years from Volvo – not just in terms of vehicles, but overall manufacturing.

Looking at a new EV? Check out our other electric car reviews and compare vehicles side by side. You might be surprised how much you could save by comparing car loans and car insurance.

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