Volvo Cars, Geely investing US$756M to develop Polestar electrified vehicles;

 Volvo Cars and its owner, China-based Geely Holding, will jointly invest RMB 5 billion (US756 million) to support the initial phase of Polestar’s product, brand and industrial development. Polestar, the fully consolidated Volvo Cars subsidiary, revealed its first production model in Shanghai, the Polestar 1 performance plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. ( Earlier post .) The investment will be used, among other things, to establish a Polestar manufacturing facility in Chengdu, China, marking a new chapter in the development of China as a manufacturing hub for Volvo Cars. This will shorten the time Polestar needs to launch its cars. Volvo Cars and Polestar will also benefit from synergies in the development of next generation […]

Volvo Accelerates Toward Electric Future With China’s Geely

Volvo Car Corp., the Swedish auto maker, and its Chinese parent Zhejiang Geely Holdings on Thursday unveiled plans for wide-ranging collaboration to develop new technology that aims to accelerate Volvo’s transformation into an all-electric auto brand and fuel Geely’s global ambitions. Volvo and Geely Holdings have signed an agreement to create a joint technology venture with headquarters in China that expands their current…

Every Volvo car launched from 2019 to have an electrified powertrain; “the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car”

Volvo Cars announced that every Volvo it launches from 2019 on will have an electric motor, marking the historic end of cars that only have an internal combustion engine (ICE) and placing electrification at the core of its future business. Volvo Cars will introduce a portfolio of electrified cars across its model range, embracing fully electric cars, plug in hybrid cars and mild hybrid cars. The announcement represents one of the most wide-reaching moves by any car maker to embrace electrification. The company said that its decision highlights how—more than a century after the invention of the internal combustion engine—electrification is paving the way for a new chapter in automotive history. This is about the customer. People increasingly demand electrified cars and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs. You can now pick and choose whichever electrified Volvo you wish. —Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief […]

Volvo to use electric motors in all cars from 2019

Volvo Cars announced that every model from 2019 onwards would have an electric motor, making it the first traditional carmaker to call time on vehicles powered solely by an internal combustion engine. Volvo said on Wednesday that it would put electrification at the core of its business. From 2019 it will only make three types of cars: pure-electric, plug-in hybrids, and so-called “mild” hybrids combining a small petrol engine with a large battery. “This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car,” said Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive. “Volvo Cars has stated that it plans to have sold a total of 1m electrified cars by 2025. When we said it, we meant it. This is how we are going to do it.”  The Swedish carmaker was purchased by Chinese domestic carmaker Geely in 2010. The new owners have proven to be a catalyst in the race to electrify its models, as China is already the world leader in electric car sales and Geely is the only Chinese-owned carmaker producing vehicles for the US. Nearly 265,000 pure-electric vehicles were sold in China last year, versus 110,000 in all of Europe, according to data compiled by EV-Volumes.com.  Globally, the market for pure-electric cars is tiny, accounting for less than 1 per cent of sales last year, but the market is growing quickly. From January to March, global sales of plug-in vehicles — comprising EVs and plug-in hybrids — rose 40 per cent to 191,700 units, according to EV-Volumes.com.  If the growth rate since 2013 were to continue, then eight out of 10 cars sold in 2030 would be plug-ins.

Sweden’s Riksbank eyes digital currency

16 Nov 2016   Sweden

Sweden’s Riksbank is debating whether to become the first significant central bank to issue a digital currency as it responds to an increasing move away from cash in the Scandinavian country.  The world’s oldest central bank — it was the first to issue paper banknotes in the 1660s — is launching a project to examine what a central bank-backed digital currency would look like and what challenges it would pose. It hopes to take a decision on whether to start issuing what it calls an ekrona in the next two years.  “This is as revolutionary as the paper note 300 years ago. What does it mean for monetary policy and financial stability? How do we design this: a rechargeable card, an app or another way?” Cecilia Skingsley, deputy governor at the Riksbank, told the Financial Times.  Central banks around the world have only begun grappling with the potential benefits and challenges arising from digital currencies such as bitcoin in recent speeches from the likes of the Bank of England and the Bank of Canada.  But a dramatic drop in Sweden in the use of cash — the amount of notes and coins in circulation has fallen by 40 per cent since 2009 — has forced the Riksbank’s hand.

Lundin Suffers Biggest Loss as Oil Collapse Forces Impairments

3 Feb 2016   Sweden

Lundin Petroleum AB suffered its biggest ever quarterly loss as the collapse in oil prices forced the Swedish explorer to book impairment charges.  The loss widened to $493 million in the fourth quarter from $436 million a year earlier, the Stockholm-based company said in a report on Wednesday. The company booked an impairment charge of $296 million and a foreign exchange loss of $129 million. The shortfall for all of 2015 was $862 million, its biggest annual loss since the company was formed and listed in 2001, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

View full article at www.bloomberg.com

Sweden sets goal of fossil-free economy

25 Nov 2015   Sweden

The Swedish government said it has a “minister for the future” that aims to steer the country toward a fossil-free economy by 2030. The Swedish government said it has one of the lowest levels of emissions among members of the European Union and the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development. The Swedish government said it’s embarked on a path toward a fossil-free economy by 2030 . Minister for Strategic Development and Nordic Cooperation Kristina Persson, dubbed the “minister for the future” by the government, said the goal can be achieved by breaking the link between economic growth and increased emissions. “We need to do much more than what we are doing presently, and many more countries must try to achieve what we are trying […]

OPEC, Russia oil battle heats up as Sweden buys Saudi crude

The Saudi-Russian battle for Europe’s crude oil buyers intensified this week as Swedish refiner Preem bought its first cargo of Saudi Arabian crude oil in around two decades, trading sources said. The purchase from another traditional buyer of Russia’s Urals crude will heat up the contest for market share that Saudi Arabia has effectively brought to Russia’s backyard in the Baltic region. Already, Poland’s two refineries, PKN Orlen and Lotos, have turned to Saudi crude at the expense of Urals. The deputy head of Lotos earlier this week told Reuters that the purchase “made our negotiation position much stronger” with its traditional supplier, Russia. State oil company Saudi Aramco on Thursday also dropped its official selling prices for crude oil to northwest Europe. Preem, which also predominately […]

Oil supply shock, food shortages, and potential starvation in Sweden?

15 Oct 2015   Sweden

In 2013 the Swedish Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering (JTI) released a report about potential impacts on the country’s food supply from sudden oil import shocks. JTI looked at three different scenarios, where oil imports would be redistricted (-25%, -50%, -75%) for a period of 3-5 years. Not enough time to make a transition to some other fuel. In the worst case scenario, where 75% of oil imports disappear, the authors stated that the diesel price could increase to some SEK 160/litre, and we would likely experience widespread starvation! Food supplies, in stores and warehouses, would only last for 10-12 days. Swedes don’t even know that the government has said that it’s up to the citizens themself to provide for their own food needs in a crisis situation. Most people seem to believe we still live in the 1970s when Sweden was a socialist country, not any more, […]

Sweden cancels military deal after Saudi human rights snub

11 Mar 2015   Saudi Arabia, Sweden

Government officials in Stockholm said that Sweden would not prolong an arms and training deal that had threatened to tear apart the centre-left coalition in the country. More On this topic IN Europe Swedish business leaders, including dozens of prominent chief executives and chairmen, had publicly lobbied for the deal to be extended, arguing that contracts worth billions of krone with Saudi Arabia could be at risk. But on Monday Saudi Arabia blocked Sweden’s foreign minister Margot Wallström from addressing the Arab League in Cairo. Ms Wallström, who had been invited after Sweden became the first EU country officially to recognise Palestine , said she had been told that Sweden’s discussion of human rights and democracy was […]

Lundin’s budget latest oil price victim

8 Jan 2015   Sweden

With oil prices falling, Swedish energy company Lundin Petroleum said Wednesday it cut its 2015 spending plans by 31 percent from last year. Lundin said that, combined, its total spending for development, appraisal and exploration for 2015 would total around $1.45 billion. The bulk of the spending, about $750 million, would target ongoing operations in Norway, though the majority would focus on its Bertram project in Malaysia. Company President Ashley Heppenstall said the major focus would be on Norwegian and Malaysia projects that would combine for an increase in production to 75,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. “We have a strong balance sheet and I expect our 2015 capital program to be fully funded from internally generated cash […]

Sweden’s Vattenfall abandons research on CO2 storage

8 May 2014   Sweden

Swedish energy giant Vattenfall said Tuesday that it had given up its research on CO2 capture and storage, intended to make the company’s coal power plants greener. “Vattenfall will discontinue its R&D (research and development) activities regarding coal power with CCS (carbon capture and storage),” the group said in a statement explaining its new research plans. The state-owned giant had been investing in this technology for more than 10 years, with plans for a power plant equipped with CCS in 2016. Capturing and liquifying CO2 coming from carbon combustion to later store it underground was meant to curb greenhouse effect gas emissions, but its costs and the energy it requires make the technology unviable. These difficulties had already forced Vattenfall to give up in 2011 a large project at a pilot plant in Jaenschwalde, in eastern Germany. The European Union then demanded the reimbursement of funding worth 45 million […]