Opinion

'Volvo want to lead the way in sustainability, as well as safety'

After revealing their first EV, Volvo want to lead the way in sustainability just like they have with safety, says Jonathan Burn

OPINION Volvo XC40 Recharge

If there’s one topic that is getting everyone fired up at the moment – not the one beginning with B – it’s climate change. Driving down CO2 emissions, for car brands in particular, is number one on the agenda. But selling low-emission cars and making a profit while doing so don’t always go hand in hand. 

However, Volvo sees it differently. Just as the company did with safety, the Swedish firm is now trying to ingrain sustainability into its company ethos. And in doing so, it is actively going after a new, younger generation of customers – those who are more climate-conscious.

Best electric cars to buy

At the launch of the new fully electric XC40 Recharge in California last week, Volvo’s boss, Håkan Samuelsson, kicked off his presentation by talking about the efforts the company is making to reduce its CO2 output. Developing more electric cars, transporting vehicles by train rather than road, using renewable energy in factories, and being able to recycle batteries are all steps the firm is putting into action right away.It was clear this is something the company cares about very deeply. But even at the cost of profits?

I put that to Samuelsson, who told me: “When we introduced airbags in all of our cars, the bean-counters said this is not going to be good for our profitability. But long-term it was very good for our profits because it built our brand and we delivered something customers wanted. Now more and more customers want to see sustainability as part of our brand.”

Getting young people to buy into a car company today takes more than brake horsepower and a good infotainment system; Volvo recognises this and is ensuring buyers are aware of its focus on sustainability. It will even begin to disclose the average lifetime carbon footprint of every car it makes, starting with the XC40 Recharge. That sort of information could matter just as much to some people as the cost of a car.

Do you think Volvo is heading in the right direction by aiming to become pioneers in sustainability? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below...

Recommended

New Volvo XC100 flagship planned for 2022 debut
SUVs

New Volvo XC100 flagship planned for 2022 debut

Volvo plan to crown SUV line-up with new ‘XC100’ model using new platform rumoured
6 Oct 2020
Electric Volvo XC20 SUV planned to sit below XC40
Volvo XC20 - front (watermarked)
Volvo

Electric Volvo XC20 SUV planned to sit below XC40

Volvo will grow its SUV offering with a new compact model on a new electric car platform that could take the XC20 name.
1 Oct 2020
Volvo P1800 Cyan mixes Swedish icon’s style with modern motorsport tech
News

Volvo P1800 Cyan mixes Swedish icon’s style with modern motorsport tech

Volvo’s race team creates unique restomod P1800 to take on Eagle E-Types and Singer Porsches
2 Sep 2020
Care by Volvo car subscription scheme rolls out across the UK
Care by Volvo
Volvo

Care by Volvo car subscription scheme rolls out across the UK

All UK motorists can now subscribe to the Care By Volvo premium car subscription scheme, which delivers the complete car service in one
2 Sep 2020

Most Popular

Renault could cut UK models in no deal Brexit profit drive
News

Renault could cut UK models in no deal Brexit profit drive

Renault’s new CEO says the firm is examining the possibility of reducing the range of models it offers to UK buyers as it aims to boost profitability
20 Oct 2020
The end of 70mph motorways? Study shows huge reduction in pollution at 50mph
Speed limit to be cut to 60mph on M1
News

The end of 70mph motorways? Study shows huge reduction in pollution at 50mph

Trial on Welsh roads shows 47 per cent drop in pollution when 50mph limits were introduced; Highways England already has plans to reduce limits to tac…
10 Oct 2020
New BMW 5 Series 2020 review
BMW 5 Series Saloon

New BMW 5 Series 2020 review

Have updates made the BMW 5 Series even better? We try out the new M550i xDrive to find out…
20 Oct 2020