Volvo Cars has announced that it will triple electric vehicle production at its Ghent plant in Belgium by 2022, amounting to around 60% of the plant’s total production capacity. According to the Swedish automaker, this is in preparation to meet the growing demand for its Recharge models, which feature a fully electric or plug-in hybrid powertrain.
The company recently released its sales results for last year, where it was revealed that the share of Recharge cars as a percentage of total sales more than doubled in 2020 compared to 2019.
“Our future is electric and customers clearly like what they see from our Recharge cars,” said Javier Varela, head of global industrial operations and quality at Volvo Cars. “As we continue to electrify our line-up and boost our electric production capacity, Ghent is a real trailblazer for our global manufacturing network,” he added.
The Ghent plant currently builds the XC40 Recharge, the company’s first EV, as well as plug-in hybrid versions of the XC40. Moving forward, it will take on production of a second fully electric Volvo model, which will be based on the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA).
A report by Autocar UK claims the upcoming EV will make its global debut in March and might take the form of a crossover coupe, providing customers with a sportier alternative to the boxier XC40. A smaller model, dubbed the XC20, is also said to be on the way, although this will be underpinned by the Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) platform developed together with Geely – first seen with the Lynk & Co Zero.
Volvo is committed to becoming a premium electric car company and in coming years, the company will launch several fully electric cars. By 2025, it aims for its global sales to consist of 50 per cent fully electric cars, with the rest hybrids.
Last year, the company managed to sell 661,713 vehicles worldwide, a 6.2% drop compared to 2019 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the second half of 2020 saw a 7.4% increase in sales from the same period in 2019, with 391,751 units.
Europe was the company’s biggest market, with 287,902 units sold, although this was 15.5% less than in 2019. This was followed by China with 166,617 units and the United States with 110,129 units, which saw a 7.5% and 1.8% increase respectively. The best-selling model was the XC60 with 191,696 units, followed by the XC40 (185,406 units) and XC90 (92,458 units).
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