To do so, though, the company needs to undergo significant restructuring. The Swedish brand’s next move is to reduce its workforce in the United States and Canada, with Electrek reporting that savings of up to $88 million are required to allow it to prepare for the all-electric strategy.
Sources told Electrek that 10% of the company’s white-collar workforce in North America will be impacted by October and that regional personnel will be offered early retirement.
While the loss of staff is hugely unfortunate, it’s clear Volvo sees the move as essential to meet its lofty green ambitions.
In April 2018, Volvo announced its hopes that 50% of all its car sales will be electric vehicles by 2025, with all models sold from 2019 either being mild hybrids, plug-in hybrids, or battery electric vehicles. Furthermore, it intends to be a climate-neutral company by 2040.
Volvo is driving into an electric future! 🚗⚡ They're ditching diesel cars by early 2024 on their journey to sell only electric vehicles by 2030 and achieve climate neutrality by 2040. Let's accelerate the green shift together! 💪🌍 #ElectricCars #ClimateAction #VolvoCars pic.twitter.com/2L5ksSgEYu— Eco𝕏eet (@EcoXeet) September 23, 2023
Part of that strategy is to increase its presence in China, where the government plans to have more than 20% of its annual car sales made up of clean-energy models.
“Last year we made a commitment to electrification in preparation for an era beyond the internal combustion engine,” president and CEO of Volvo Cars Håkan Samuelsson said in a statement. “Today we reinforce and expand that commitment in the world’s leading market for electrified cars. China’s electric future is Volvo Cars’ electric future.”
Furthering the company’s commitment to move away from dirty-fuel-powered cars, Volvo announced in September that the last vehicle with a diesel engine under its umbrella will be manufactured in 2024, which observers have tweeted about.
“What the world needs now, at this critical time for our planet and humanity, is leadership,” chief executive Jim Rowan said in a statement. “It is high time for industry and political leaders to be strong and decisive, and deliver meaningful policies and actions to fight climate change.”
According to the United States Department of Energy, about a third of U.S.-based carbon pollution comes from transportation.
Meanwhile, a report from The International Council on Clean Transportation has said that battery electric vehicles have “by far” the lowest planet-harming-pollutant levels during their life cycles. The organization said this could be as much as 68% lower in the United States, and the gap could soon increase with more clean electricity from solar and wind sources feeding the power grid.
Back at Volvo, the latest restructuring shows it is trying to do everything in its power to move to a more sustainable future.
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