The boss of Chinese-owned Swedish brand Volvo says he isn’t worried about signs electric vehicle (EV) demand is in decline, despite his company’s vow to ditch petrol and diesel power by 2030.
According to Automotive News Europe, Volvo Cars CEO Jim Rowan told investors during an earnings call that the brand’s “premium” positioning makes it less vulnerable.
“The mass-market segment maybe has been affected by some companies not getting to price parity with ICE,” Mr Rowan said, as reported by Automotive News Europe.
“In the premium segment, we don’t see that. We see the premium segment growing, and we are taking market share.
“We are the highest premium BEV [battery electric vehicle] share company, and we have the highest published BEV margins in the EV sector other than Tesla.”
Volvo has previously announced its plans to become fully electric globally by 2030, while its Australian division has committed to an even more ambitious timeline of only selling EVs by 2026.
But EV demand in the US, the world’s second-largest new car market, is flagging.
Automotive News Europe reports total US EV inventory – which is a reflection of how long supply can match demand if production came to a halt – was at 113 days at the end of 2023, an increase of 92 per cent on the year prior and above the industry average of 69 days.
In Australia, EV sales increased by 161 per cent last year, with 87,217 battery-powered vehicles reported as sold throughout 2023.
While the 4893 EVs sold in January 2024 represented an increase of just 0.8 per cent on the same month a year prior, a delay in deliveries for market leader Tesla is behind the relatively minor jump.
Volvo already has two EVs in Australian showrooms – an electric version of the XC40 and its ‘coupe’ C40 sibling – though its upcoming EX30 small SUV and EX90 large flagship SUV will headline its transition to exclusively battery power.
The Volvo EX30 will launch this year with a base price of $59,990 before on-road costs, becoming the brand’s least-expensive EV in Australia.
The upcoming Volvo EX90 is slated to arrive in showrooms before the end of 2024, being sold alongside its petrol-powered XC90 counterpart – though likely with a higher price tag.
MORE: Everything Volvo