Volvo Says Its EVs Can Become Future Classics

Volvo/David Shepherd

Volvo’s reputation for rugged durability won’t be diminished when it becomes an EV-only carmaker, and its future models could have a lifespan of 40 years or more.

According to the Swedish firm’s Head of Strategy and New Cars, Erik Severinson, the limitations of current batteries could become a thing of the past, while EV motors may actually extend the life expectancy of Volvo cars.

Speaking after the grand opening of World of Volvo he told Hagerty, “We have honestly not changed our requirements on longevity or sustainability or lifespan of the products when we moved into electrified cars.”

“The key difference here is electrification. The electric motor has a much longer life than a combustion engine. You can have that for 40 years running if you would like, but the batteries, of course, have a different aging profile than a combustion engine.

“We have not changed the requirements. So we are designing our cars to be as durable in the future as our current cars. How are we doing that? Well, the battery part is twofold. One is software. Batteries age when you are discharging fully, and charging fully. Typically, if you do that in a fast charging network, then you eat the battery a lot. It also ages partly from time, so what we’re doing is using software to control it so we don’t get into these endpoints too much.”

By keeping batteries charged between 30 and 70 percent they age much less, explained Severinson. Volvo is working with a local partner Northvolt on battery tech, and will soon build its own packs at a new facility in its Torslanda, Sweden plant. Those batteries may eventually be made entirely from recycled materials, ending the ethically and environmentally questionable mining of rare resources.

“The big difference between electric cars and combustion cars is that when you burn the fuel (in a combustion car) then it’s gone, but for an electric car, once the battery is depleted, you can actually build a new battery of the old batteries. 95 percent of the critical minerals are reusable, and we’re designing better plant processes to be able to cater for recycled batteries.

“In 2040 the amount of nickel, manganese and cobalt running around the road is probably bigger for us than the amount in the crust of the earth. The electric vehicle offers a totally different opportunity in terms of sustainability from a recycling perspective.”

Ironically that could actually contradict Volvo’s long lifespan goals. “Maybe we will want to get the cars back because we can build a new battery of them and so don’t want to have the car for 15 years in the market. Maybe 10 years is better, because we can say it’s a more sustainable solution.”

So will cars like the EX30 and EX90 really become future classics or will they all be stripped down to build the next generations? We’ll find out in 40 years…


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    Much needs to be seen before we get this far,

    Durability is not what makes a classic. If that were the case many classic cars that are fragile would not be so valuable today.

    Demand is what matters. The trouble with many of the EV cars is this. Will they be interesting enough to save and will the technology advances make some of these EV models as popular as a Iphone 6.

    Tech will move fast and what is new today may be a has been in 5 years.

    Time will be the judge.

    Can EV’s be future classics? Sure. Are a bunch of boxy toaster mommy-mobiles going to be classics? Let me know when people start paying crazy money on a “classic” Chevy Equinox or Ford Escape and then there might be hope.

    Not true! The tune “Sensitive New Age Guys” has a line that says “Whose favorite car is a Volvo station wagon?”

    It’s inevitable. Cars have been restricted by the ICE requirement configurations for so long it will be refreshing to see some truly new designs. Just look at the folks flipping out about the Cybertruck. They cannot stay away from commenting, both for and against. Even if you are against you cannot deny the attraction.

    Volvo is trying. They are also practicing, wait for it, here it comes…..m a r k e t i n g, by invoking future classicism. A l l automakers advertise and market. Let’s not gang up on Volvo.

    Meanwhile, there are not enough raw materials for the world to swap all ICE (internal combustion) cars for EVs. EVs run on petroleum tires (producing most the dust in urban areas), and use six (6) times as many minerals as i.c. cars, including cobalt, lithium, nickel, copper, manganese, graphite, zinc, rare earths like neodymium, thallium, and dysprosium, the latters’ extraction requiring huge amounts of carcinogens like ammonia, hydrochloric acid, sulfates. Much of these minerals are imported from politically unstable regions.

    Thallium has been a common ingredient in rat poison. It’s tasteless, odorless, and nearly colorless. While those who tested positive hadn’t consumed poisonous levels of the metal, it was enough to cause fatigue, heart arrhythmia, nausea, digestive trouble, neurological problems, and hair loss. The scariest part is that even after patients completed detoxification regiments, thallium continued to show up in their systems.

    “We now know that heavy metals are additive and synergistic,” says David Quid, the lead scientist at Doctors Data, PhD in nutritional biochemistry. “If you get a little thallium, and a little lead, and a little cadmium in your system, you’ve got one plus one plus one equals five or six, not just three.” In other words, these metals do more damage when they’re combined.
    “This stuff bioaccumulates,” he added. “Down the road, it’s going to kick you in the ass one way or another.”

    The overarching problem, the biggest by far on earth according to every poll of scientists, remains overpopulation. Until we curb that, revise our antiquated, agrarian tax code enacted when more babies meant more hands to work the family farm, half of all children not surviving past age four, pressure the Pope and other religious leaders to urge having only “one or none” or adopting, and get most people on a plant-based, vegan diet–which hasn’t slowed the world’s leading Formula One driver, Lewis Hamilton — we’re sunk. UN and other studies show animals raised for meat and dairy produce more greenhouse gas than all the world’s cars, trucks, buses, trains, planes, ships combined.

    Every study not overtly or covertly funded by meat, dairy, egg industry comes to the same conclusion: The single best way to stave heart disease, inflammation, hypertension, cardiovascular ills, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, macular degeneration, dementia (now termed type 3 diabetes, Alzheimer’s is a plant-based, vegan repast. Without which health insurance public or private will never be affordable.

    Few have the cojones to remain focused on these two causes, so Volvo is like everyone else making Band Aids for the patient hemorrhaging in the ER, and I.C. cars regardless how clean burning and lightly used vintage stuff remain convenient whipping boys. It’s too late in the game for us to be held hostage by companies whose business model is so weak it demands evermore customers and cheap labor, and the latter includes those willing to scribe listicles and me-too pieces.

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