Volvo Cars invests $1bn as they strive to offer their customers longer range, quicker charging, and lower costs with their next generation of pure electric cars.
How do Volvo intend to achieve this?
To realise these ambitions, Volvo Cars will invest $1bn (SEK 10bn) in its Torslanda manufacturing plant in Sweden in the coming years, in preparation for the production of the next generation of fully electric cars (EVs).
The company will introduce a number of new and more sustainable technologies and manufacturing processes in the plant, as part of the planned investments. These include the introduction of mega casting of aluminium body parts, a new battery assembly plant and fully refurbished paint and final assembly shops.
How do these investments contribute to this development?
The investments follow a recent announcement by Volvo Cars and Northvolt, the leading battery cell company, to invest $3.3bn (SEK 30bn) in the development and manufacturing of high-quality, tailor-made batteries for the next generation of pure electric Volvo models.
Both investment plans signify the steps necessary for Volvo Cars to achieve their ambition to be a fully electric car production company by 2030, and reflect the company’s commitment to a long-term future in its hometown of Gothenburg.
“With these investments, we take an important step towards our all-electric future and prepare for even more advanced and better electric Volvos,” explained Håkan Samuelsson, Chief Executive of Volvo Cars. “Torslanda is our largest plant and will play a crucial role in our ongoing transformation as we move towards becoming a pure electric car maker by 2030.”
What is necessary in the production of Volvo’s new EV?
The introduction of mega casting of aluminium body parts for the next generation of electric Volvo models is the most significant and exciting change implemented as part of the investment package. Mega casting creates a number of benefits in terms of sustainability, cost and car performance during the car’s lifetime, and Volvo Cars is one of the first car makers to invest in this process.
Casting major parts of the floor structure of the car as one single aluminium part reduces weight, which improves the energy efficiency and thus the electric range of the car. This also permits Volvo designers to optimally use the available space inside the cabin and luggage area, essentially boosting the overall versatility of the car.
An additional benefit from mega casting includes reduced complexity in the manufacturing process. This in turn creates cost savings regarding material use, logistics, and reducing the overall environmental footprint across the manufacturing and supply chain networks.
Furthermore, the upgrade of the paint shop involves the installation of new machinery and implementing new processes, which are expected to support the ongoing reduction of paint shop energy consumption and emissions.
A new battery assembly plant will integrate battery cells and modules in the floor structure of the car, while the assembly shop is being refurbished for the accommodation of the next-generation fully electric cars.
Additionally, the logistics areas will be refurbished, which will improve the material flow, and optimise the transport of goods and parts into the plant. The company will also invest in facilities around the plant, such as break areas, locker rooms and offices, that further improve the working environment for all employees.
“Today is a great day for the Torslanda plant because we are making it fit for the future with this investment package,” concluded Javier Varela, Head of Engineering and Operations at Volvo Cars. “Our future as a company is all-electric and that requires a variety of upgrades across the plant to ensure that Torslanda can continue to build premium electric cars of the highest quality.”