Elon Musk might think he has the automotive establishment on the ropes when it comes to electric cars. But Volvo isn’t giving up so easily.
To compete with Musk’s iconic Tesla cars, Volvo just announced that in 2019 it will release its first fully electric car.
The prototype was just unveiled at the Shanghai auto show this week, and that location is no coincidence: the new model will be constructed entirely in China, presumably at one of Volvo’s three already-existing factories there.
Another reason why Volvo might want to focus its attentions on China: the country is now the biggest market in the world for electric cars. And as the Communist Party hints at more serious efforts to address air pollution, future incentives for electric car manufacturers could be in the pipeline for China’s next five-year economic plan.
Oh, and did we mention that Volvo has been Chinese-owned company since 2010? That might also have something to do with it. It’s a wholly-owned subsidiary of Geely.
As for the car’s performance specs, not much is known beyond the fact that the electric battery should offer a range of more than 400 km when fully charged, and will be placed inconspicuously within the car’s floor.
To compete with Tesla, Volvo is expected to offer a competitive price tag for this new model. So if you think you might want one of these in 2019, be prepared to spend about $AUD50,000.
As for what this might mean for Tesla, the company’s stock seems to be doing just fine in the wake of Volvo’s announcement.
And one other key player in the market who is sure to benefit from these developments: you, the consumer. As more car manufacturers enter the electric car market, expect to see tougher competition and a corresponding drop in prices.
If this trend continues, we may see the projected global shift to electric cars happen a lot sooner than expected, which would be great news for the environment. And it would also be great for China’s smog-choked cities if Volvo could nudge the country in the direction of lower automotive emissions.