Volvo Opens In-House EV Motor Plant in Sweden

Volvo has announced plans to build its own in-house developed electric motors for powertrains in Sweden.

The automaker will assemble the motors at its plant in Skövde leading to the establishment of complete in-house e-motor production by the middle of the decade. It will invest $81M to this end in the coming years. Volvo says it is committed to becoming a premium electric car company and aims for its global sales to consist of 50% fully electric cars by 2025, with the rest hybrids.

The Skövde operations have been part of the Volvo story ever since the company’s founding in 1927. Volvo 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. 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.

Bringing the development and production of e-motors in-house should allow its engineers to improve electric motors and the entire electric driveline. This approach could also help 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 opened a new electric motor lab in Shanghai, in addition to ongoing e-motor development in Gothenburg and 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, named Powertrain Engineering Sweden (PES). PES is intended to be merged with Geely’s combustion engine operations, as announced earlier.

Javier Varela, senior vice-president of industrial operations and quality, said: “The very first Volvo from 1927 was powered by an engine built in Skövde. 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.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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