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Volvo cuts to the chase this time, will go totally electric by 2030

Following some wishy-washy statements a few years ago, Volvo isn't leaving its latest announcement open for interpretation.

Volvo wants to kick gas to the curb, for good.

By 2030, you will not find a new Volvo with an internal-combustion engine. The Swedish luxury brand on Monday declared it will be a totally electric brand by the end of this decade as it uses the next several years to phase in more electrification, and phase out gasoline and diesel vehicles around the world. Notably, this announcement includes the US.

The announcement follows ramped-up pressure on automakers to contribute solutions to the climate crisis, but it also follows cloudy statements from Volvo itself. Three years ago, Volvo took the industry by storm after it said half of its cars would be electric come 2024. In 2018, it was a shockwave of an announcement. But Volvo quietly clarified some of these "electric cars" would still be plug-in hybrids and feature other forms of electrification. The announcement is precisely why today we at Roadshow work hard to explain that "electrification" has a wide definition.

Volvo now says it "intends to only sell fully electric cars and phase out any car in its global portfolio with an internal combustion engine, including hybrids." The last part is key, since hybrids often serve as a bridge to totally electric vehicles. We might point out the word "intends" in the statement, too, since intention can differ from what actually happens. And 2030 is still quite some time away.

Another big shift comes with the move to EVs only: The company said it wants to sell its future cars exclusively online, which is sure to irk dealerships around the world. Notably, this piece of information is missing from the US-specific announcement, but in other countries, "Volvo Cars will invest heavily in its online sales channels, radically reduce complexity in its product offer, and with transparent and set pricing models." Despite this, the company said it does not see a reason to close dealerships altogether and said it wants to fully integrate both in-person and online buying. We'll have to watch how this unfolds, especially in the US, which has strict franchise regulations.

As Volvo works through its EV growing pains, it won't let its foot off the throttle when it comes to debuts. Following the reveal of the 2022 C40 Recharge on Tuesday, the company will reveal a new EV every year through 2025.

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