Volvo CEO says fossil fuel car expiration date is a ‘clear signal’ for the market

Håkan Samuelsson, CEO of Volvo Cars Group, speaks during a presentation at the 88th International Auto Show at Palexpo in Geneva, Switzerland, March 6, 2018. REUTERS / Pierre Albouy / File Photo

GLASCOW (Reuters) – Governments’ move to agree to phase out production of fossil fuel cars and trucks by 2040 has been important in sending a “clear signal” to the market, said Volvo’s chief executive. (VOLCARb.ST) to Reuters.

“I think the industry is very good at making electric cars, but the industry won’t start if the industry doesn’t think it’s going to happen,” Håkan Samuelsson said on the sidelines of the COP26 climate conference in Scotland.

“That’s why I think it’s very important to get a very clear signal from governments,” he said, referring to a pledge signed on Wednesday by companies such as Volvo and Ford. (FN) and countries and cities including India and Seoul. Read more

“The same, of course, applies to charging infrastructure and battery production. (They too) need … clear signals. But then the market and competition will be very strong in accelerating the development process,” he said.

The undertaking will have an impact on some of the company’s operations and employees, for example those involved in the manufacture of diesel engines and gearboxes.

“The reality is going to change there, but (there are) a lot of new components; electronic drives, we need more software engineers. So it is a structural change that we have to go into positively with ambition to support the people who work in these areas.”

“Because it has to change…if we don’t change our industry we won’t have an industry in the future.”

(Reporting by Simon Jessup and Noemi Olive) Editing by Jean Harvey

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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