At ACT’s fireside chat with Volvo’s Peter Voorhoeve, Peter indicated that it sees FCEVs after BEVs. Volvo is ready to go national in the U.S. with the deployment of BEVs, and its dealerships are on-board. California is expected to play a major role in Volvo’s BEV roll out given its historical trend to reducing vehicle emissions. Peter somewhat awkwardly stated that we should leave this world in the same shape in which the present generation found it, but after a pause added that we could also leave it in better shape than it was found.
Peter went on to talk about how NYC was very happy when it was approached by Volvo about BEV trucks, because of the noise and emission pollution reductions that BEVs bring with them.
Dealerships will have to go through a certification process, including sales staff, before Volvo dealers can sell BEVs. Volvo sales members at dealerships are going to be expected to ask if a customer’s route will fit in with owning a BEV.
When asked by ACT how to keep sales people motivated about selling a BEV, Peter Voorhoeve said that it is working on it but he put the onus of the buy on the customer.
Peter also said that he sees BEVs and FCEVs as complimentary. However, while Volvo and Daimler are working right now to produce fuel cell stack technology, it is trying to push forward with BEV deployments. He also indicated that it is going to take a significant investment in R&D to develop competitive fuel cell stacks, which puts it in an awkward position, considering that many other companies already have fully functional mass-produced fuel cells.
When ACT asked Peter about how Volvo feels that regulatory groups are encouraging ZEVs, he evaded the question but he did say that its customers feel ZEVs are not critical to their success because of the high cost of ZEVs right now.
The overall tenure of the fireside chat was at best a lukewarm attempt by Volvo to try and persuade others of something that it is unsure it believes itself, which is an interesting contrast given the amount of fires burning in British Columbia, California, Siberia, and other locations around the world presently.
Jesse Lyon, Contributor
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