Why it matters: Over the past few years, the car industry has undergone a bit of a renaissance. Though ICE vehicles still exist and will continue to be dominant for many years to come, a growing number of carmakers are shifting more resources toward the development of electric vehicles. Indeed, it’s getting harder to find a major carmaker that doesn’t have a compelling EV either in the works (for future launch) or in active production.
Volvo is one company that wants to go all-in on the EV market moving forward. Every new Volvo model released will be “electrified” (it’s unclear if that means fully-electric), and the carmaker plans to launch five electric vehicles between now and 2025.
By that same date, Volvo hopes to slash its “total operational carbon emissions” by 25 percent per car (compared to 2018 figures).
All of these vehicles will fall under Volvo’s new “Recharge” brand, starting with the newly-announced XC40 Recharge. The XC40 Recharge is an electric SUV with over 200 miles of range, exceptional charging rates (Volvo promises an 80 percent charge in just 40 minutes), 402 horsepower, and a 0-60 speed of 4.7 seconds.
The car seems to house some variation of Google’s Android Automotive car OS, which means you’ll have phone-free access to Google Maps, Assistant, and the Play Store.
The XC40 Recharge is not available for purchase yet, but you can reserve one now with a $1,000 (refundable) deposit.
Volvo’s EV plans are only one small part of its overall sustainability goal: becoming completely “climate neutral” (not carbon neutral, interestingly) by 2040. According to Volvo, 80 percent of its global plants are already powered by some form of renewable energy, and that number could hit 100 percent during the next 5 years.
Whether or not Volvo will be able to stick to its plans remains to be seen, but we’ll certainly keep you updated on the company’s progress.