Why the inconsistency? Volvo attacks ICEs and hybrids while parent company Geely courts Saudi Aramco for engine deal

Hans · Jan 25, 2023 10:08 AM

Why the inconsistency? Volvo attacks ICEs and hybrids while parent company Geely courts Saudi Aramco for engine deal 01

  • Volvo’s parent company Geely is courting investment from Saudi Aramco to develop synthetic and hydrogen fuels
  • Volvo Car to be 100 percent EV by 2030, but will continue to profit from selling engine assets to other automakers, via Aurobay

Consistency in messaging and sticking to one’s principles is how trust is gained. An organization can’t say one message when it wants to lean the left but say something opposite when it leans to the right, and worse, pretend to close its eyes and ears when it’s facing the centre. Unfortunately this is the position that Volvo is finding itself doing.

First, Volvo says it will be limiting all its cars to 180 km/h because it wants to “…. send a strong signal about the dangers of speeding, underlining Volvo Cars position as a worldwide leader in safety,” but conveniently exempts Polestar, which it co-owns with Geely, from the limit. Basically Volvo is saying “We are happy to make exemptions to our proud Swedish principles against speed if you pay more.”

Why the inconsistency? Volvo attacks ICEs and hybrids while parent company Geely courts Saudi Aramco for engine deal 02

Volvo EX90

Next, Volvo started attacking the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), which it has since left, calling out the legacy automakers-heavy club for dragging its feet in ending combustion engines. Volvo insists that unless the world follows its lead to transition into 100 percent battery EVs, the effects of climate change would be irreversible.

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Volvo is aiming to be a 100 percent EV company by 2030, and to have 50 percent of its sales contributed by EVs by 2025.

The problem is that Volvo isn’t really killing its internal combustion engines (ICEs) like how it demands pro-hybrids companies like Toyota to do – because Volvo had merely transferred its ICE assets to Aurobay, a joint venture between Renault and Geely to develop and supply combustion engines for other automakers. Aurobay says Volvo will remain a ‘strategic partner,’ and will continue to earn in licensing its engines to other carmakers.

Aurobay, which operates with Volvo’s technical assistance, is painting a totally different picture of the future.

Also readDespite EV-only vow by 2030, Volvo is quietly playing both sides by betting on dirty ICEs

Why the inconsistency? Volvo attacks ICEs and hybrids while parent company Geely courts Saudi Aramco for engine deal 01

“The auto industry’s strong focus on electric vehicles will not be enough to reach the CO2 reduction targets. Electrification is just one of several solutions required to reach global net zero vehicle emissions targets. In many parts of the world, there will neither be enough fossil free electricity nor enough charging infrastructure to allow for rapid electrification. According to industry estimates, in 2040, 55-75% of all cars on the road will still be ICE or hybrid powered”, said Aurobay’s deputy CEO when welcoming Renault into the partnership.

Like Volvo, Renault will share its engine assets with Aurobay under a partnership with Geely.

Also readProton Savvy has the final laugh - Geely-Renault engine partnership confirmed to power future Proton, Mitsubishi, and Nissan models

Why the inconsistency? Volvo attacks ICEs and hybrids while parent company Geely courts Saudi Aramco for engine deal 02

Now, Reuters reports that Volvo’s parent company Geely is working with Renault to finalize a deal that will see Saudi Aramco coming onboard as an investor to develop and supply highly efficient combustion engines, including hybrids.

Reuters say Aramco is poised to take a 20 percent stake in a still-unnamed powertrain technology company, with Renault and Geely splitting the remaining 80 percent equally between themselves.

Reuters say the three companies aim to establish a powertrain company this year with a production capacity of more than 5 million "low-emission and hybrid engines and transmissions" annually.

Aramco will also invest in the development of synthetic fuels and hydrogen fuels.

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Hans

Head of Content

Over 15 years of experience in automotive, from product planning, to market research, to print and digital media. Garages a 6-cylinder manual RWD but buses to work.

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