Volvo’s new global EV plant could be in India, says CEO Jim Rowan

With sales of electric vehicles expected to accelerate in the coming year on back of development of charging infrastructure and price parity with internal combustion engine vehicles, Swedish luxury carmaker Volvo Cars is examining possibilities to set up a new manufacturing facility in Asia, outside of China.

Volvo Cars Global Chief Executive Officer Jim Rowan said while a final decision on the location of the new manufacturing unit for electric cars is yet to be taken, India and Southeast Asian countries are among the contenders. The facility being considered will be utilized to meet domestic requirements as well as ship vehicles to other markets globally.

“We need to make sure that we can feed other countries other than just India from that location. And then, therefore, we need to look at the logistics of that. And also the cost benefits”, explained Rowan, adding, “But (we are looking) in Asia, that’s something that we’re looking at the moment.” Volvo Cars – which has firmed up plans to go all electric by the end of the decade – is also open to collaborating with a partner in the region for contract manufacturing.

Last year, Volvo Cars announced plans to set up a new manufacturing facility in Slovakia to meet increased demand for its electric vehicles in Europe and the US.

Rowan said the company believes that internal combustion engine and electric vehicles will be at price parity by 2025. This will make electric vehicles affordable for a larger number of customers. “We’ve announced that we will release one brand new electric car every year for the next few year”, Rowan said.

Volvo Cars currently sells the XC40 Recharge in India, priced at ₹56.90 lakh (ex-showroom), which has received a strong response.

(The writer was in Sweden on an invitation from Volvo Cars)

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