The collaboration with Vattenfall is unique for Volvo Cars. The development of the V60 Plug-in Hybrid is the first time the car manufacturer collaborates with an industrial partner from the energy sector.
Vattenfall and Volvo have each invested SEK 1.2 billion in the jointly owned company, V2 Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle Partnership. Annika Ramsköld, Head of Business Development at BD Distribution & Sales, is Chairman of the Board with Lars Olof Gustafsson from Volvo acting as company CEO.
He explains that the collaboration is completely based on commercial terms, coupled with a joint interest in developing the electrical cars of the future.
"It is unique for Volvo to have a development partner such as Vattenfall which represents an entirely different industry. Our aim is to be market leader in the electrification of the transport sector and it's very important to have an industrial partner. Vattenfall has, among other capabilities, contributed its know-how and European contact network in the process of developing an industry standard for charging for instance."
The agreement between Vattenfall and Volvo runs until 2020 and is based on the production of a specific, unofficial number of cars. Vattenfall receives a royalty for each car sold, the amount of which is a trade secret.
A number of Volvo models other than the V60 will be fitted with plug-in hybrid technology in the future, but a decision has not yet been made as to how many.
"Volvo's future platform technology is custom-made to permit this level of flexibility. Discussions are underway to decide on which models will be selected. There are plans already, but flexibility and ability to adapt to market demand are necessary. Many factors still have an impact on the development process, of which the primary ones are the battery development costs, an infrastructure that can provide charging facilities and especially any possible eco car premiums. These factors still remain unclear and also vary from country to country."
The collaboration with Volvo not only includes technology, but also marketing activities such as the European tour which the jointly developed car is going on, starting in April.
"It is very instructive to get the different cultures in the companies working together. It is great fun and a challenge. It is also interesting to attempt to merge resources and try to get one and one to equal three. We just want to achieve a win-win situation for both parties," says Lars Olof Gustafsson.
Volvo will deliver the first 1,000 Volvo V60 Plug-in hybrid cars to buyers in early 2013, mainly to companies. Lars Olof Gustafsson announces that there are existing plans to build some 5,000 cars annually based on the first V60 model. The cars will be produced at Volvo Torslanda.
"The car has generated enormous interest, not only among customers but also among competitors. We hope this continues and that we can build more cars in the coming years. The selling price of SEK 560,000 for the first exclusive, numbered series of 1,000 cars is certainly an aspect that frightens off certain keen buyers. But you then have to remember that one is basically buying three cars in one, i.e. an electric, hybrid and full power vehicle. In other words, a combined sports and eco car. This car of is of significance and will break new ground in many areas when it comes to the development of eco vehicles," says Lars Olof Gustafsson.
This is the third part of our series of articles on e-mobility, explaining what it is and why we at Vattenfall believe it is important.
Electric vehicles and E-mobility