Volvo’s new EV SUV is planned to arrive in emerging regions such as India by 2024-’25.
Volvo Cars wants to introduce a small electric SUV over the next 12-18 months to bring in incremental buyers, with the goal of capturing a large market share in the embryonic electric vehicle segment in emerging economies. A separate division has been formed in order to sharpen the focus on select major markets in India, ASEAN, and other Asia Pacific countries.
Volvo’s compact EV SUV will make its debut in India in 2024-’25.
The new small EV SUV, which will be unveiled in the summer of 2023, would have an entry price point ideal for markets such as India and other ASEAN countries, said Jim Rowan, Volvo Cars’ global CEO, addressing a group of journalists from the Asia Pacific Region last week.
“”We’re seeing more and more emerging markets accept and adopt full BEVs,” Rowan added. “I believe that bringing a smaller SUV will benefit us as well as some of these markets because it’s a smaller, less expensive car that will come with multiple battery sizes. A customer can select from a variety of range selections and price points, which is really convenient. It will be an excellent city automobile as well as a highway vehicle “Rowan elaborated.
This new small EV SUV is part of Volvo’s portfolio-building strategy, which calls for the debut of one new EV model per year. Volvo was one of the first automakers to pledge to become entirely electric by 2030.
The Volvo XC40 Recharge, which was introduced in India last year, received a highly positive reception from the market. With the debut of a new C40 crossover EV later this month, Volvo anticipates EVs to account for 40-45 percent of overall sales in 2023, according to our sister journal Autocar Professional. With the addition of a compact EV SUV at the entry level and the EX90 at the top end of the market in the next years, the firm is on track to meet its goal of achieving 50% of total sales from EVs by 2025.
In 2022, the business sold approximately 1,850 vehicles in India, and it expects to increase sales by nearly 50% to 3,000 vehicles in 2023. While the figure appears to be exceedingly low, if it meets its EV sales objective, it may easily be the market leader in an area that is gaining pace. Globally, the business intends to sell half a million EVs by 2025, and Volvo anticipates a 40% reduction in carbon footprint compared to 2018.
Volvo aspires to have a larger market share in the electric vehicle industry
While the recent increase in battery pricing was concerning, Rowan anticipates prices to reduce in the next 6-9 months. He expects that by 2025, the price of an internal combustion engine car will be comparable to that of a battery electric vehicle, resulting in a considerable shift towards EVs beyond that date.
While some of Volvo’s German competitors have decided to stick with internal combustion engines for a little longer, Rowan says Volvo is clear on its long-term vision, and the complete transition to EVs by 2030 may impact its overall market share in some markets, but Volvo will aspire to have a higher market share in the EV space.
This might offer a significant challenge for the brand in rising markets such as India, which may still have a considerable stock of conventional internal combustion engines by 2030. “I think in India, one of the friction points towards BEV adoption has to be obviously the infrastructure,” Rowan adds. I believe it will evolve swiftly, beginning with Mumbai and Delhi and possibly spreading to other parts of the country later, and it will evolve city by city. In terms of budgets and so on, the way India is governed becomes a state-by-state decision. As a result, it may change over time.”
When pressed if the company will pursue an EV production site in India, Rowan stated, “India is not a large market for us at the moment. A [manufacturing] enterprise would be a reach for us. We need to ensure that we can feed India and other nations from that place, and then we need to consider the logistical and financial benefits of doing so versus being somewhere else in Asia. That is, if we decide to build another factory outside of China,” he stated.