New Delhi: Swedish car maker Volvo Car Corp. will sell only electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars in India after 2019 as part of its plan to shift to such vehicles worldwide.

“We must follow the same strategy in India and if we would want to be the leaders here when it comes to electrification, then we have to be the first in line," said Charles Frump, managing director of Volvo Auto India Pvt. Ltd. “Globally, by 2019, every new product will either be full battery electric, hybrid or plug-in hybrids and we are certainly going to do the same in India," added Frump.

Volvo aims to sell one million electric vehicles worldwide by 2025, with India contributing a significant part.

The Union government has been very categorical about promoting electric vehicles in the coming years, while revoking financial benefits given to the hybrids under the FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India) scheme. Under the goods and services tax (GST), hybrid vehicles attract 43% taxes (GST plus cess) as opposed to just 28% in the pre-GST era.

“When you look at our strategy, it includes full electric, plug-in hybrids and hybrid vehicles. So, whichever way the government wants to promote electric mobility, we will bring products accordingly," Frump said.

This is the first time any premium or luxury vehicle manufacturer has revealed plans to introduce only electric vehicles within a certain time line in India.

With the government planning to have only electric cars in India by 2030, the move could help Volvo stay ahead of its German competitors like Mercedes Benz, BMW and Audi.

“This was a part of the global strategy. We were the first mass automotive company to say that post 2019, it will be all electric vehicles. That is ahead of the pack and that promise goes for India as well. The advantage we have is that the entire product range at present can be converted to electrified cars which means, the volumes of electrified luxury cars will be heavily skewed towards Volvo," explained Frump.

In terms of domestic operations, the company plans to add 30 new dealers across the country in the next two years in an effort to increase its 5% market share in the premium segment to 7-10% over the next two years.

“Volvo was the first automobile manufacturer to announce their plans to stop manufacturing internal combustion engines (ICE) across markets. This will also help them get advantage over their competitors as well in India when the Union government is pushing for electric vehicles," said Amit Kaushik, managing director of automotive consulting firm Urban Science.

“In this segment, the demand for electric or plug-in hybrid cars will be more, since the customers are sophisticated and discerning compared to other segments," he added.

According to a news report published by British newspaper Guardian, the first of Volvo’s electric cars will be manufactured in China while the rest will be made in US and Europe. Volvo is yet to decide on a vendor for the Lithium-ion batteries.

“Volvo was the first automobile manufacturer to announce their plans to stop manufacturing internal combustion engines (ICE) across markets. This will also help them get advantage over their competitors as well in India when the Union government is pushing for electric vehicles. In this segment, the demand for electric or plug-in hybrid cars will be more, since the customers are sophisticated and discerning compared to other segments," said Amit Kaushik, managing director of automotive consulting firm Urban Science.

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