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Volvo CEO Elaborates on Free EV Recharge Costs

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Volvo XC40 Recharge in Glacier Silver,
The all-new Volvo XC40 Recharge in Glacier Silver
Photo: Volvo

The latest step in Volvo’s aggressive push into the all-electric vehicle market is a bold one. As a part of the rollout of the automaker’s first-ever EV, the XC40 Recharge, Hakan Samuelsson, President and CEO of Volvo Cars, announced that beginning with the 2021 model year, the company will pay for one full year of charging costs for owners of Volvo plug-in hybrids.

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As we previously reported, drivers of 2021 model year — and newer — Volvo vehicles like the XC40 Recharge will be able to claim a rebate for all of their electricity costs within the first 12 months of ownership. Volvo will then issue a complete refund based on data compiled by its Apple and Android smartphone app.

Volvo hasn’t exactly been shy about their hopes for the EV market. In a recent interview, Samuelsson provided a fascinating bit of context for the automaker’s rationale.

“We believe we should treat sustainability as as much of an integrated part of our business as safety, not just something we do as an add-on,” Samuelsson said. “We’re making it part of our product offering.”

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Later in the same interview, Samuelsson reemphasized the importance of reaching consumers directly rather than relying on government subsidies or incentives to sell EVs. “Long term, if this is really going to do something to the climate or the environment, the cars need to be attractive and need to be bought by customers with their own money.”

It’s certainly interesting to hear that Volvo’s point of view puts sustainability on the same level as safety, but it certainly explains the gusto with which they’ve been implementing carbon neutral policies. If nothing else, it’s a uniquely ideological approach to transforming an industry.

The jury’s still out on the long-term viability of electric vehicles, but as more and more car manufacturers invest time and resources into the endeavor, the future of EVs looks promising. And who knows, year of free driving costs may just be enough to convince more people to make the leap to a carbon-neutral vehicle.

Source: The Detroit News