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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Volvo: From Sweden with love

In a notable shift toward sustainability, fully electric cars are making their mark in the Philippine auto industry, challenging the dominance of gas-fed and hybrid vehicles. This eco-friendly revolution, often dubbed the “green transition,” is gaining momentum as more environmentally conscious consumers embrace the prospect of a sustainable and climate-neutral future.

Recently, the ambassador of Sweden to the Philippines, Annika Thunborg, attended the launch of the fully-electric Volvo XC40 Recharge and the C40 Recharge. Drawing parallels between the Philippines and Sweden, she highlighted the unfolding transition towards electric mobility in Manila, drawing from Sweden’s own experiences as a forerunner in sustainability.

Ambassador Annika Thunborg during the launching of the fully-electric Volvo XC40 Recharge and the C40 Recharge.

The event showcased Volvo’s commitment to electric innovation, featuring the Volvo C40 and XC40 Recharge, both built on the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform. Boasting an All-Wheel Drive (AWD) twin-motor powertrain with 408 electric horsepower and 660 Nm of torque, these vehicles exemplify Volvo’s dedication to high-performance electric technology.

The advanced electric powertrain of the C40 and XC40 Recharge SUVs extends their range to 549 km and 537 km, respectively. Notably, their rapid DC fast charging capability allows for a 10% to 80% charge in just 27 minutes, enhancing the practicality of electric vehicles in everyday use.

Ambassador Thunborg underscored Sweden’s longstanding commitment to sustainability, narrating how the country became the first in Europe to meet 2020 renewable energy targets back in 2012. Emphasizing Sweden’s ambitious goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045, she highlighted the pivotal role of conscious political decisions, civil society mobilization, and innovative companies like Volvo Cars in driving progress.

Linking Volvo’s legacy to societal well-being, Ambassador Thunborg noted the pivotal role Sweden played in road safety with the invention of the 3-point seat belt in 1959—a contribution made globally accessible by releasing the patent to the public. She also highlighted Sweden’s trailblazing move in launching the first public electric road, underscoring their commitment to smart urban areas with seamless and reliable public transportation.

Volvo’s climate action plan aligns with these sustainability goals, aiming to become a fully electric car brand by 2030 and achieving climate neutrality by 2040.

In addition to the electric vehicle showcase, Ambassador Thunborg introduced a novel mobility innovation in Sweden—Volvo on Demand. As a member of this service, she described a convenient, digitalized car rental system that aligns with Sweden’s robust public transportation infrastructure. Expressing the possibility of introducing this service to the Philippines, Ambassador Thunborg envisioned cooperation between the Embassy of Sweden in Manila and Volvo Cars to bring this modern mobility solution to the local landscape.

As electric cars gradually become a driving force in the mainstream auto industry, the collaboration between nations and innovative companies like Volvo marks a pivotal step towards a sustainable and eco-conscious future for the Philippines.

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