Electric cars can shed their grey footprint and go fully green as Volvo Cars plans to provide rooftop solar panels for passenger cars in a first-of-its-kind initiative by the company anywhere in the world.
The Swedish luxury car brand, which has one electric model – XC 40 Recharge – in its line-up, has been re-engaging with its customers to check if they wish to install solar panels to generate power for their car.
Jyoti Malhotra, managing Director, Volvo Car India, said, “Several times we have had customers say to us that they are interested in having solar charging but they did not know how to do it or who to approach. Through our programme, we do an assessment of the customer’s area and help them install solar panels with the help of an agency appointed by us.”
A technical and commercial feasibility by a Volvo-appointed agency will cover an overall assessment of the car owner’s residence or place of work followed by recommendation for solutions. Depending on the space allotted, the cost of installing a solar charging solution will come to around ₹3-4 lakh, which is 5-7% of the cost of the XC40 Recharge priced at ₹55,90,000.
“Our customers appear very keen. Many of our buyers are businessmen. They have an option of installing the panels at their home, office or factory. This initiative will help us go truly green,” Malhotra added.
While such an initiative will make Volvo the first car company in India to offer fully-green mobility solutions, the same method has been tapped by Tesla, the world’s biggest electric car company. The US-based company has been into the solar roofing business since the past few years and many of its customers use the power to charge their Teslas.
Although the demand for electric cars has shot through the roof, the main source of charging is through the grid. More than 60% of India’s electricity needs are met through thermal power, which is known to be the most polluting source of power generation.
Malhotra further added that since the demand for the XC40 Recharge, with a 418 km range, is encouraging with its waiting period stretching to 9-12 months, Volvo will add one new electric vehicle every year to its line-up.
“Two years back, the discussion was ‘when to buy electric cars’. Now, the conversation has shifted to ‘which electric car to buy’. Therefore, our growth strategy for India is through electrification and our belief becomes stronger with the XC40 Recharge. In the middle of next year, we will bring the C40,” Malhotra added.
The Volvo C40 Recharge is an all-electric crossover vehicle having peak power of 402 bhp, a drive range of around 363 kms and 37 minutes time for 10-80% fast charge.