Volvo’s new CEO sends a strong message about the company’s EV plans
Electric vehicles have many advantages over gasoline-powered cars. So most automakers, including Volvo, are working hard to switch from gasoline to electric. Just as the California Gold Rush drew hundreds of thousands of people dreaming of making a fortune, automakers are racing to make their lineups all-electric. And Volvo’s new CEO, Jim Rowan, is determined to be among the first.
The Swedish automaker is on track to electrify its lineup
Volvo has made it clear that going electric is not just a goal or a dream, but a reality that will come to pass. The Swedish automaker plans to have an all-electric range as soon as possible. This is why Volvo is cutting ties with the Association of European Automobile Manufacturers (ACEA). According to electrek, the split will take place by the end of 2022. The reason? ACEA plans to make Europe fully electric by 2035, but Volvo wants to do it faster.
The company aims to make half of its range electric by 2025. That’s a bold move, given that 2022 is over halfway. Then, the range will be fully electric by 2030.
Volvo’s new CEO Jim Rowan says there are no excuses
To help put the plan into motion, Volvo named Jim Rowan its new CEO last March. In a July interview with Automotive News, Rowan made it clear that he fully supports the company’s vision.
“We’ve set ourselves a lofty goal, and when you do that, you’re saying there’s no ifs, ands, or buts. That’s the direction of the journey,” Rowan told Automotive News. “This means that every rental we make, every investment decision we make, every design choice for our cars that we make is geared towards achieving this strategy. It helps us as a company stay focused on the end game.”
To signal its intention to achieve its goal, Volvo will present an as-yet-unnamed flagship to replace the XC90. It is hoped that the new vehicle will show Volvo’s sincerity to the world and pique consumers’ interest so that buyers will also support the vision.
Rowan, a former Dyson executive, also noted that he hoped to bring some of the stylish and visually appealing features that made his former employer a powerhouse in home appliances.
Volvo’s CEO is no stranger to electric cars
Although Rowan’s job at Volvo is his first in the automotive industry, he brings years of experience in electronics design. He was chairman and chief executive of Dyson from 2017 to 2020, according to Volvo Cars. Prior to that, he served as the company’s chief executive between 2012 and 2017.
Meanwhile, Dyson has decided to embark on the creation of an all-electric SUV. When it was unveiled in 2020, the EV attracted many fans due to its sleek design, which Dyson has become well known for. Unfortunately, Dyson had already canceled the SUV before revealing it due to astronomical production costs that would have required the company to sell each model for over $150,000. There don’t appear to be any other plans for Dyson to join the automotive world, but this preview leaves us wondering what might have been.
So it makes sense that Rowan would jump at the chance to lead Volvo into its electric future. He hinted in his Automotive News interview that his love of cars started when he was a kid and dreamed of becoming an engineer.
Prior to his time at Dyson, Rowan was COO at Research and Motion from 2008 to 2012. It’s the company that makes BlackBerry devices. Given Rowan’s long history in electronics, Volvo’s aim to have an all-electric range by 2030 isn’t out of the question.
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