Volvo to Manufacture its Electric Motors In-House in Sweden, China

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【Summary】Unlike a few automakers, Volvo will be following in Tesla’s footsteps as it looks to manufacture electric motors for its EVs without the help of suppliers.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Dec 15, 2020 6:05 PM PT
Volvo to Manufacture its Electric Motors In-House in Sweden, China

Automakers are currently split on the best way to manufacture electric vehicles and the components that go into making them move. Some, like Tesla, build electric motors in-house, but leave things like batteries to partnerships with suppliers like Panasonic. 

General Motors also has plans to manufacture electric motors and Ultium batteries at its own plants. Ford, though, claims that it doesn't see an advantage to having its own plant to produce components for EVs. Volvo has thrown its hat into the ring and is following in the same footsteps as Tesla and GM.

Volvo's Latest EV Push

Volvo recently announced that it would be making "significant investments" that allow it to make electric motors in-house, as the brand moves toward being a fully-electrified automaker. The automaker believes that manufacturing key EV components like motors in-house will help it reach its goal of having 50 percent of its sales come from fully-electric vehicles, while the rest are expected to come from hybrids by 2025. More electrified vehicles will also help Volvo reach its goal of becoming climate-neutral by 2040.

One of the reasons why Ford believes that producing batteries and electric motors isn't worth it is because of the high initial costs to set up facilities and designing the components. Automakers, like Volvo, that are investing in in-house electric motor and battery development are betting on EVs in the long run. 

There might not be a lot of interest in EVs at the moment, but that's expected to change in the near future as prices come down. Developing electric motors in-house will lead to higher profits down the road.

"Bringing the development of electric motors in-house will allow Volvo Cars engineers to further optimise electric motors and the entire electric driveline in new Volvos. This approach will allow engineers to make further gains in terms of energy efficiency and overall performance," claims Volvo.

Other Important Components

The electric motors will be built at Volvo's new electric motor lab in Shanghai, China. The new facility joins Volvo's other plants that include an e-motor development lab in Gothenburg, Sweden, and other battery labs in China and Sweden.

With Volvo being owned by Geely, we're sure the brand's electric motors will be shared across multiple brands, including Geely, Lynk & Co., and Polestar. That would make sense and help Volvo justify the hefty initial costs.

In addition to focusing on manufacturing batteries and electric motors, Volvo is also working on making new platforms for its electric cars. The automaker is hard at work on coming out with its new SPA2 platform, which will be used for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. The first vehicle that will utilize the new platform will be the next-gen XC90 variant. We're expecting to see Volvo come out with an all-electric version of the midsize SUV when the fully-updated model is introduced.

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