A new training center will teach technicians how to take care of electric cars and PHEVs.
Like many automakers, Volvo is determined to leave the combustion engine in the past. Vehicles such as the C40 and XC40 Recharge are just the beginning; the Swedish automaker has vowed to introduce several battery-powered cars in the future. Now, the premium brand has announced another change as it prepares to become electric-only.
The US subsidiary will see its New Jersey-based headquarters adapt to the future, with a new technical and training facility and 50 EV chargers. The Volvo Car Americas Technical and Training Center will boast a workshop and classroom where technicians will be educated in service techniques for new models, such as electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid models.
Aside from the revised EV charging setup, the eco-friendly building will receive a 15-kW solar panel system, among other things. According to Volvo, the premises is being designed to be LEED Gold certified - accreditation given to efficient "cost-saving green buildings."
The new chargers will serve the various employees and visitors who require a battery top-up. There are plans to open this extensive charging facility up to the public at a later date. CEO of Volvo Car USA, Anders Gustafsson, said "this beautiful new facility anchored around sustainability will further train and educate our retailers and service technicians from across the region on our electrified future."
The Volvo brand has a strong connection to the state of New Jersey. Aside from a brief stint in California (when Volvo was part of Ford's Premier Automotive Group), the Swedish automaker's first local headquarters were established in the Garden State as far back as 1956. The current Mahwah-based facility is home to 340 employees.
Volvo is hoping to become a fully-electric automaker by 2030, a plan which will make it one of the first car companies to do so. In preparation for this, the company is also exploring different avenues in terms of EV charging. In March, the company announced a partnership with Starbucks that will see the advent of 60 DC fast chargers on a 1,350-mile route from Denver to Seattle.
The unique charging setup should make EV road trips a cinch. While available to any electric car, Volvo drivers get to use the handy network free of charge. Even more interesting is the wireless charging idea that Volvo is experimenting with in Gothenburg. XC40 Recharge models serving as taxicabs top up their batteries with an innovative pad which, says Volvo, charges four times quicker than the average AC charger and nearly as quickly as the DC variant.