Technology 3 min read

Volvo's Electric Offensive: How EVs Can Become the Car of the Future

According to a new survey from Volvo, most Americans believe electric vehicles are the future, despite the shortcomings of the current environment.

Volvo is one of the world's leaders in electric vehicles. Now, Americans believe the time for EVs is coming. ¦ Image via Volvo

Volvo is one of the world's leaders in electric vehicles. Now, Americans believe the time for EVs is coming. ¦ Image via Volvo

Swedish automaker Volvo is fully committed in electric vehicles.

Building on decades-long expertise, Volvo’s electrification ambitions are finally starting to take shape.

Two years ago, the company made the decision that, starting from 2019, it will propose all its new models as electric or hybrid.

Volvo said it would launch five all-electric electric models, either plug-in hybrids or “light hybrids”, between 2019 and 2021.

Polestar, Volvo’s performance brand, also announced its second model, the Polestar 2 — a 5-door saloon all-electric car.

Packing 408 horsepower, a 78 kWh battery, and high-end specs, the Polestar 2, is a direct rival to Tesla Model 3.

If Volvo wants to win over American drivers, it should focus on reducing their “range anxiety”.

Volvo Poll: American Drivers, EVs, and the Future of Driving

While a Tesla Model 3 comes to a standstill after 220 miles on a single charge, Polestar 2 would have electric juice to run another 91 miles (311-mile range).

And it’s perhaps in that last department that Volvo has to commit more of its money and technical skill if it wants its EV models to be seen more frequently on American roads.

In a poll commissioned by Volvo Car USA, 58 percent of American drivers said “running out of power” is the top barrier to own an electric car, and about the half of drivers cited the “low availability of charging stations.”

According to Volvo’s report, The State of Electric Vehicles in America, “nearly three-quarters of American drivers believe electric vehicles are the future of driving”.

Per the report, most EV and non-EV drivers cited economic and environmental benefits of driving an EV.

While 74 percent of EV drivers surveyed think the long-term savings on fuel outweigh the higher purchasing cost of an EV, 59 percent of all drivers cited EV’s positive environmental impact.

Read More: Self-driving Truck From Volvo’s ‘Drive Me’ Works With Trash Collectors

If Volvo’s poll shows that the majority of American drivers report a positive experience with EVs, they can’t overcome the “range anxiety”, which stems from two factors: range restrictions, and an underdeveloped charging stations network.

While the autonomy issue is the sole responsibility of EV makers like Volvo and Tesla, improving the charging infrastructure is a larger issue as it involves authorities and third-party service providers.

From the drivers part, they’re all-in EVs. However, they don’t want just more charging stations, but also more charging options and amenities. Some are willing to pay more for fast charging, and all want the basics like Wi-Fi, coffee shops, and maintenance services.

The development of a solid EV infrastructure with high-capacity chargers is not a distant dream. With proper funding and cooperation between car manufacturers and government bodies, it would not be surprising for the next five years to be the beginning of the rise of the electric vehicle.

Read More: Three Countries Driving the Electric Car Revolution

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Zayan Guedim

Trilingual poet, investigative journalist, and novelist. Zed loves tackling the big existential questions and all-things quantum.

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    Laura Fischer March 06 at 1:36 pm GMT

    Unless it becomes cheaper than is realistically possible, I don’t think Americans are ever going to really adopt electric cars. They love their trucks, racing, and oil burning far too much. In any case, most people see electric cars as “unmanly”. Until they lose that stigma, Americans are going to stay with their pickups.

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