Volvo has been rolling out a series of “commitments” outlining their company’s future. Among them: building tons of electric and hybrid cars, making their vehicles death-proof, making their operations “greener,” and putting more women in charge of the company. Those seem like lofty goals, but it’s the details – or lack thereof – that are interesting.
Volvo just spit out a press release announcing that it “aims to sell a total of up to one million electrified cars by 2025.” If we ignore the cover-my-ass words “up to,” which pretty much make that sentence completely meaningless, a million hybrid and electric cars by 2025 seems lofty. But that’s not all, as Volvo says it will offer two hybrid variants of every model and a fully-electric model by 2019.
So Volvo is clearly setting the bar high. Volvo does have the XC90 plug-in hybrid, and they’ve got an S90 plug-in in the works, but those aren’t exactly high volume cars. Plus, 2025 is right around the corner.
Volvo’s president and CE Håkan Samuelsson admits that the new commitment to electrification—which Volvo has named “omtanke” after the Swedish word for “consideration” or “caring”— is going to be a tough promise to keep, saying that “it is a deliberately ambitious target... It is going to be a challenge, but Volvo wants to be at the forefront of this shift to electrification.”
Volvo says its new Scalable Product Architecture (found on the S90 and XC90, and which will also underpin “60 series cars”), as well as the smaller version called the Compact Modular Architecture platform (off of which Volvo will base its smaller “40 series” vehicles), were both developed to accept electrified powertrains. So it looks like Volvo may at least have the architecture to pull this off.
But don’t think those lofty goals are all the Swedes could come up with. They’ve got many, many more ambitions. Volvo says it plans to keep its operations clean, saying that it it will also attempt to achieve totally climate neutral operations by 2025.
The automaker didn’t delve into details on how it would accomplish this, but nevermind, because Volvo went on, saying it plans to get more women in positions of responsibility:
[Volvo will] have 35 per cent of its leading positions held by women by 2020
The press release doesn’t discuss what it means by “leading positions,” nor does it mention what measures Volvo is taking to reach their 35 percent target, or how many positions “35 percent” really is. Again, incredibly vague and meaningless aspirations, without something to compare it to!
To add to the many aforementioned goals, there is, of course, that goal of eliminating all deaths or serious injuries to people driving Volvo cars.
That’s a lot of promises, and they all sound like they’re steps in the right direction. Still, there are many questions that need to be answered, so we’re not sure the Swedes can pull it off. But I hope they do.