Automotive

Published on December 12th, 2020 | by Subhash Nair

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Volvo’s Skövde Plant Will Assemble Electric Motors

The automotive world is fast electrifying and Volvo Cars have taken another big step towards fulfilling its goal of having 100% of its sale in 2025 consist of electric vehicles and hybrids. So, what have they done this time? They’ve repurposed their engine plant in Skövde, Sweden to assemble electric motors.

You may recall that last month, Volvo Cars also announced they’d be developing their own in-house electric motor design. This will help them create more optimised electrified powertrains, reduce reliance on third party design and supply, and keep themselves ahead of the competition.

When those designs are ready, the Skövde plant will transition from assembling electric motors to producing them from scratch. A total of 700 million Swedish Kroners (approx. US$82.74 million) will be invested into the plant over the coming years to achieve this goal.

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The plant in Skövde was notable for becoming the company’s first climate-neutral manufacturing plants back in 2018.

Here’s the press release with more.

PRESS RELEASE

Volvo Cars will assemble electric motors at its powertrain plant in Skövde, Sweden, and plans to establish complete in-house e-motor production by mid-decade. It will invest 700 million SEK to this end in coming years.

The company is committed to becoming a premium electric car company and aims for its global sales to consist of 50 per cent fully electric cars by 2025, with the rest hybrids.

The Skövde operations have been part of the Volvo Cars story ever since the company’s founding in 1927. Adding e-motor production to the plant’s activities means the historic ground in Skövde will be a part of the company’s future as well.

Volvo Cars announced earlier this year that it is investing significantly in the in-house design and development of e-motors for the next generation of Volvo cars. With the planned investments in Skövde, it now takes the first steps towards in-house e-motor assembly and manufacturing.

In a first stage, the Skövde facility will assemble e-motors. At a later stage, the company intends to bring the full manufacturing process for e-motors in-house into a facility in Skövde.

“The very first Volvo from 1927 was powered by an engine built in Skövde,” said Javier Varela, senior vice president of Industrial Operations and Quality. “The team is highly skilled and committed to delivering on the highest quality standards. So it is only fitting that they will be a part of our exciting future.”

Taking over the role of the internal combustion engine in car engineering, e-motors are a fundamental building block of electric cars, together with the battery and power electronics. The interplay between these three component areas is crucial in developing premium electric cars.

Bringing the development and production of e-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.

Design and development of the company’s electric motors takes place in Gothenburg, Sweden and Shanghai, China. Earlier this year Volvo Cars opened a new electric motor lab in Shanghai, in addition to ongoing e-motor development in Gothenburg, Sweden and state-of-the-art battery labs in China and Sweden.

The remaining activities at the Skövde engine plant, focusing on the production of internal combustion engines, will be transferred to a separate subsidiary of Volvo Cars, named Powertrain Engineering Sweden (PES). PES is intended to be merged with Geely’s combustion engine operations, as announced earlier.

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