Good afternoon, Charles. Could you tell us how Volvo Financial Services (VFS) became a key player in the Volvo Group’s electrification journey?
Sure, we are very excited to share our journey with the world – it is amazing that services that were concepts just a few years ago are becoming commercially available to our customers. And that is really where it starts – Volvo Group highlighted electrification as a main innovation focus area along with connectivity and autonomy in 2018. It was then that we said to ourselves, if the Volvo Group is really going to do this, then we can start to anticipate what the service needs are before electric products are even available commercially.
Electrification is such a collaborative effort amongst all the Volvo Group brands. These are new products with so many capabilities required to offer a total solution, and it really is all hands and minds on deck. Our innovation team is a key player here. Having dedicated resources to electrification who think creatively about what role a finance company plays in the larger arena of electrification services is essential. Thinking creatively means providing something completely different than what we have traditionally and building a business model that spans multiple owners across the product lifecycle. With the creation of a dedicated electromobility services team in VFS, we are well positioned to scale these early developments.
Interesting, what does providing something ‘different’ look like in regards to services for electrification?
VFS has always valued providing a complete solution to customers, and I would say with electrification we are taking ‘complete’ to the next level. There are really three separate elements that go into that experience for the customer that are ready today: loans and leases adapted for both customer and electric needs, infrastructure including charging-as-a-service, as well as maintenance contracts and uptime services provided by the Volvo Group brands. In the future, we expect to include insurance offers and a wider range of payment options. We have also worked on energy-as-a-service, which entails energy sales and subscription models that we can further explore with Volvo Energy. Accessibility is key here – we want to build on decades of experience to make these sustainable, zero emission, quiet vehicles a possibility for customers all around the world.
How are you seeing this journey towards electric come to life in the marketplace?
The Volvo LIGHTS project has really brought to light (no pun intended) how we can make electric happen for customers. The project in Southern California is an important step as it provides a blueprint to successfully introduce zero-emission battery electric trucks and equipment into the market at scale, and because the project featured all of the key players that you would need to bring something like this to any major global transportation hub. Most recently, the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee (MSRC), a committee of California’s largest transportation and clean air agencies and stakeholders, awarded Volvo Financial Services more than $3.9 million dollars to help fund the deployment of 14 Volvo VNR Electric trucks. Funding and grants like this from MSRC are key for us in successfully transitioning customers to electric products.
Thanks so much for sharing with us Charles, if a customer walks away with just one thing from our conversation today what would you want that to be?
We at VFS are dedicated to bundling Volvo Group products and solutions to make electric possible for you. And I would say if you happen to be in a market where electric isn’t available yet, just get ready, electric is going to take the world by storm, and we are here to help!
Ready to make the switch to electric today? Contact us, here.