Volvo's plant in Ridgeville, South Carolina, will become the automaker's first to exclusively build electric vehicles, CEO Hakan Samuelsson told Automotive News (subscription required) in an interview published on Monday.
The plant only become operational in 2019, with the sole model built there at present being the S60 sedan. Samuelsson didn't say when the plant will be exclusively churning out EVs, though we know the transition will start in 2022 when Volvo adds production of a new Polestar 3 electric crossover and eventually a next-generation electric XC90.
The Polestar 3 is expected to be a sleek crossover similar in size to the XC60, and likely based on a battery-electric version of Volvo's next-generation SPA2 platform. The next XC90 will also be based on the SPA2 platform, but offer both electric and hybrid options. It will also feature advanced self-driving technology including a standard lidar sensor.
Teaser for Polestar 3 due in 2022
Volvo will invest more than $700 million in the plant to add a second assembly line as well as a dedicated production site for battery packs. Some of funds will also go toward training staff to handle production of electric vehicles. Volvo estimates it will need to triple the plant's workforce to about 2,500 staff to handle the extra production.
The investment in the plant is part of Volvo's plan to build vehicles where they are primarily sold. This means most of the vehicles built at the Ridgeville plant will be sold in the Americas.
It's only a matter of time until all of Volvo's plants are only building EVs. The automaker in March said its lineup will become fully electric by 2030.