Volvo Announces Move to 100% EVs by 2030 As White House Talks Charging Infrastructure

By Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer

Volvo announced on Tuesday that it will move to make its entire car line-up fully electric by 2030, joining other big automakers, including Ford and Jaguar, in taking a green leap of faith. Until this month, Volvo only offered one fully electric vehicle, but unveiled its second, the C40, on Tuesday. The company has pledged to meet short-term goals as well, like making 50% of global sales fully electric by 2025 and offering wireless upgrades and fixes for its new electric models. What’s more: the automaker is confident that gas-powered cars are rapidly becoming a thing of the past. “I am totally convinced there will [be] no customers who really want to stay with a petrol engine,” said Volvo Chief Executive Håkan Samuelsson.

Why This Matters: As more companies commit to 100% electric fleets, they’re solidifying a harsh reality for the fossil fuel industry: its number is almost up. Transportation is the largest source of America’s carbon pollution, making up about 28% of its footprint. But even as sales of larger, gas-guzzling vehicles like SUVs and trucks have grown in popularity, oil demand continues to falter and prices plummet. Automakers increasingly understand this historic moment. Green energy is becoming cheaper, early investing in new battery technology is available, and the President is ready to go all-in on EVs, as are the major global automakers.  They are ready to tackle charging infrastructure at this critical point with carbon emissions rising again globally.

Battery Battles

Despite committing to similar plans, automakers have varied on how to make and source batteries. Lithium car batteries, for instance, are becoming a point of major economic investment and debate.

  • Electric vehicle pioneer Tesla built many of its EV models with high-capacity lithium-ion batteries until recently when it shifted to iron phosphate (LFP) batteries in its base models over concerns about long-term nickel availability and price.

Ford, under its previous CEO, declined to invest in producing batteries for their vehicles here in the U.S., and instead planned to source batteries from suppliers. But now, CEO Jim Farley has changed course. “We need to bring large-scale battery production to the US, and we’ll be talking to the government about that…It’s just too important,” he said. Building sustainable, high-capacity batteries will play a major role in ensuring EVs become a part of daily life, but there’s still a long way to go when it comes to infrastructure.

Charging Up

As more electric vehicles enter our roads, they’ll need places to refuel. Right now, U.S. roads are painfully unprepared for the number of cars that will need to be charged away from the home. Recently, the White House held a meeting with CEOs from EV charging infrastructure companies to discuss the best course of action. National Climate Advisor McCarthy emphasized President Biden’s commitment to big investments in electrification and the administration’s plan to build half a million EV charging stations. The task won’t be easy; to enable a future with 100% EVs, charging stations must be as common as gas stations. And to combat climate change effectively, building them must start now. In the White House meeting, companies and the government were on the same page, agreeing that there is no time to waste.

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