Advertisement
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.

Advertisement - Article continues below

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...

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/volvo/109064/volvo-not-planning-to-pay-any-co2-fines
Volvo XC40 Recharge - front 3/4 static
Volvo

Volvo not planning to pay any CO2 fines

New Recharge models set to bring Volvo's CO2 average down below the EU target of 95g/km
6 Feb 2020
Visit/volvo/108704/volvo-and-isuzu-enter-commercial-vehicle-partnership
Volvo and Isuzu merger
Volvo

Volvo and Isuzu enter commercial vehicle partnership

The two manufacturers will sign an agreement, which could see the Volvo-owned UD Trucks brand transferred to Isuzu Motors
18 Dec 2019
Visit/volvo/108356/volvo-offers-free-electricity-for-new-plug-in-hybrid-customers
Volvo XC40 - front charging
Volvo

Volvo offers free electricity for new plug-in customers

Volvo is offering a year’s supply of free electricity with any of its new plug-in hybrid models from now until 30 June 2020
8 Nov 2019
Visit/volvo/108331/volvo-uses-blockchain-tech-over-cobalt-ethics-supply-concerns
Volvo XC40 Recharge - front 3/4 static
Volvo

Volvo uses blockchain tech over cobalt ethics supply

Most cobalt is sourced from the Democratic Republic of Congo, some by child miners; Volvo’s move aims to address ethics concerns
6 Nov 2019

Most Popular

Visit/news/102580/hyundai-kona-electric-get-increased-range-july
Hyundai Kona electric front
Hyundai Kona Electric

Hyundai Kona Electric to get increased range from July

UK-delivered Hyundai Kona Electrics will be outfitted with a handful of mechanical revisions, boosting the SUV’s maximum range to 300 miles
18 Mar 2020
Visit/hyundai/i20/100001/new-hyundai-i20-n-hot-hatchback
Hyundai i20

New 2021 Hyundai i20 N to rival Ford Fiesta ST with 200bhp

New Hyundai i20 N to join i30 N in brand’s hot hatch line-up and our exclusive images preview how it could look
2 Apr 2020
Visit/seat/leon/351998/new-seat-leon-2020-review
SEAT Leon

New SEAT Leon 2020 review

The all-new SEAT Leon hatchback impresses with its blend of sporty handling and cutting-edge technology
3 Apr 2020