Consumer expectations are changing, and the auto industry has to change to meet them, Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson told the U.N. Global Compact Nordic Network conference on Monday.
“Our customers want safer, more sustainable and convenient cars,” Samuelsson said. “We can meet that demand, be a force for change and grow our business at the same time. I am confident that our next generation of fully autonomous, electrified and connected vehicles will help make the cities of the future cleaner, safer and smarter.”
As host of the conference of sustainability experts at Volvo’s headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden, Samuelsson opened the meeting by announcing that Volvo is updating its business model to fit a “changing world.” He said Volvo recognizes the limitations of the internal combustion engine, and “that is why we have such an ambitious target when it comes to electrification.”
Volvo is committed to having 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2025 and intends to help meet sustainability goals by having full “climate-neutral manufacturing” operations by that same year.
In a video released before the conference, Stuart Templar, Volvo’s director of sustainability, explained: “Consumers are demanding more sustainable transport, not just in terms of reduced emissions but also in terms of materials in the vehicle.” He concluded: “From a Volvo Cars perspective, a sustainable approach is not only the right thing to do, but it makes sound commercial sense, drives internal engagement and attracts the best talent.”
Volvo notes that it currently produces six plug-in hybrid models for worldwide sale, including the 2017 XC90 T8 SUV, and says it plans to make every new model available as an electrified vehicle. Another Volvo plug-in vehicle is expected to debut within a year, and the company’s first all-electric model is anticipated in 2019.