Volvo Cars is tripling electric car manufacturing capacity at its plant in Ghent, Belgium, as it prepares to meet fast-growing demand for its Recharge line.
The capacity increase came as the automaker also reported full year sales results for 2020 which showed a strong growth in demand for the Recharge models. Their share as a percentage of total sales more than doubled in 2020 compared with 2019.
By 2022, electric car capacity at the Ghent plant will have more than tripled from the current level and amount to around 60% of the plant’s total capacity.
Ghent is currently preparing to put a second fully electric model, based on the CMA modular vehicle architecture, into production later this year. The plant already builds the XC40 Recharge, the company’s first fully electric car, as well as plug-in hybrid versions.
“Our future is electric and customers clearly like what they see from our Recharge cars,” said Javier Varela, head of global industrial operations and quality. “As we continue to electrify our line and boost our electric production capacity, Ghent is a real trailblazer for our global manufacturing network.”
By 2025, Volvo aims for its global sales to consist of 50% fully electric cars, with the rest hybrids.
While Ghent is the first of its global manufacturing network to start building fully electric cars, the company also has plans to increase electric car manufacturing capacity at its other facilities around the globe.
Last month, Volvo Cars also announced it would assemble electric motors at its powertrain plant in Skovde, Sweden, and plans to establish complete in house e-motor production by the middle of the decade. It will invest SEK700m to this end in the coming years. The company is also investing significantly in the in-house design and development of e-motors.