Volvo to Expand its Plug-in Hybrid and Electric Vehicles Portfolio in India


Volvo is focusing on leading the electric vehicles market in India, the company is planning to introduce battery-operated vehicles in the country. Volvo is likely to launch its first plug-in hybrid vehicle in India in 2019. It also plans to introduce six more plug-in hybrid vehicles for the Indian market. Along with the plug-in hybrid vehicles, the company is also planning to introduce electric cars by 2021 in India.

Volvo is likely to become the first automotive manufacturer to assemble plug-in hybrid car in India with its XC90 premium SUV. The car will be the first car model from company’s portfolio and its plug-in hybrid car will be developed at its manufacturing plant in Bengaluru by the end of 2019. Along with this, a range of plug-in hybrid cars by Volvo are likely to be launched in next three years.

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The government of India in Jan 2019 reduced the custom duty from 15% to 30% to 10% to 15% on import of the components of electric vehicles, this has boosted the plans of Volvo to assemble electric vehicles locally in the country. Meanwhile, Volvo has already finalized its plan to assemble plug-in hybrid cars locally in India. Furthermore, with the reduction on import duty, the company is considering the assembly of electric vehicles as well.

According to Richard Snijders, VP, Volvo Cars APAC, the company is likely to consider local assembly of S60 by 2020, while launching four more plug-in hybrid vehicles in the next year. Meanwhile, the company is also planning to launch Polestar 1 globally this year and Polestar 2 by next year, along with its plan to go fully electric in next few years, and enter the market in India soon after its global launch.

Volvo already setup its facility in Bangalore in 2018 to compete in the luxury car market in India. Meanwhile, Volvo models that are locally assembled in India already account for half of the sales in the country. Volvo is also planning to setup new engine assembly plant in India, while using the lower tax structure in the country to bring down the price of its models. Meanwhile, the company is also focusing on bringing most of its car models in India via CKD route.

Majority of the automotive manufacturers are focusing on expanding in India owing to the significant growth in the electric vehicle market. Leading players in the country are also collaborating with local distributors, vendors and aftermarket service providers in order to reach maximum population. The electric vehicle market in India is likely to offer lucrative opportunities for both automotive manufacturers and component manufacturers.

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Increasing initiatives by the government to reduce greenhouse gas emission, increasing crude oil prices, drop in the cost of the battery, and low operation and maintenance cost of electric vehicle are some of the key factors, likely to drive the adoption of electric vehicles in India. Moreover, with increasing sales and high preference for passenger cars in the country is expected to drive demand for electric cars in the passenger car segment.

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