In April 2018, Volvo Cars announced an ambitious target that fully electric cars would make up 50 per cent of its global sales by 2025. Now, Volvo Car India Managing Director Charles Frump has said that 50 per cent or more of the Swedish brand’s sales in India by 2025 would be electric cars. Volvo sells 2,500-3,000 vehicles a year and is to launch its first electric vehicle in the second half of 2021, the Volvo XC40 Recharge.
In an interaction with TheHinduBusinessLine.com, Frump said the high tax structure for conventional luxury vehicles in India would hamper growth but the favourable policies for electric vehicles is influencing the company to invest heavily on electric vehicles.
The American, who has held senior level positions at Volvo for 11 years in Japan, China and Sweden, says India could become the next Norway in the rapid adoption of electric cars. He didn’t provide a confirmation, however Volvo’s investment on electric cars should include local assembly of the XC40 Recharge which could make it the cheapest electric vehicle from a premium brand in India. It would also have to prepare its dealership network with fast chargers as Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz have done through tie-ups with power companies.
Frump says the luxury car segment would lead when it comes to electric vehicles. He says all Volvo customers own multiple cars and there is no question of range anxiety. Furthermore these customers can afford to have their own charging plug at home and hence the barriers are lower for adoption of electric vehicles in the premium category.
Production of the Volvo XC40 Recharge (XC40 electric) started at the brand’s plant in Ghent, Belgium, on October 1. The XC40 Recharge (EV) is the first of the Volvo electric car train as the brand aims for 50 per cent of its global sales to come from EVs in 2025 (the rest will be hybrids).
Every Volvo XC40 Recharge scheduled to be manufactured this calendar year has already been sold, the company announced, however, order books are open. The first lot of XC40 electrics will be delivered to European customers.
Volvo aims to convert their CBU imports to India to locally assembled products next year, and given that the XC40 Recharge is a variant of the XC40 (which is on sale in India), it too could be assembled at the Hosakote plant near Bengaluru. The XC60, XC90 and S90 are currently assembled at this facility.
Volvo Car India MD, Charles Frump, hinted that the electric Volvo SUV could be priced under Rs. 50 lakhs, (ex-showroom) when he said in a recent web interaction that the “price gap will be much less” between the petrol and EV variants.
Another reason for the Volvo XC40 Recharge to be competitively priced is the GST on electric four-wheelers which is only 5 per cent, as compared to 50 per cent on ICE cars of this category.
Coming to the specifications of the Volvo XC40 Recharge, all wheel drive with two electric motors and a 78 kWh battery is the only configuration the Volvo electric car is available in, currently. This gives it a range of 400 km (WLTP cycle), while the outputs of 408 hp & 660 Nm deliver 0 to 100 km/h acceleration in a brisk 4.9 seconds and a top speed of 180 km/h. Using fast charging, the battery can be taken to 80 per cent of its capacity in about 40 minutes.
Compared to the standard SUV, the Volvo XC40 Recharge gets a redesigned frontal structure to account for the absence of an engine, and a safety cage for the battery pack to protect against roll-over accidents.
Volvo XC40 Recharge India launch FAQs
When will the Volvo XC40 Recharge launch in India?
The Volvo XC40 Recharge will launch in India around the festive season of 2021. Expect dealers to commence bookings in mid-2021.
What is the Volvo XC40 Recharge price?
The Volvo XC40 Recharge is expected at INR 45-50 lakhs, ex-showroom.