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Volvo CEO emphasizes the significance of a state-supported charging infrastructure for electrical autos

A charging station for electric cars on Kurfürstendamm, Berlin.

Jens Kalaene | Picture Allianz | Getty Images

The managing director of Volvo Cars described plug-in hybrids as a "very popular concept" on Tuesday, but emphasized the need for government support to load the infrastructure.

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles or PHEVs are cars with an internal combustion engine and a battery-operated electric motor. In an interview with CNBC's "Squawk Box Europe", CEO Håkan Samuelsson described the vehicles as "bridge technology".

As a company, Volvo Cars wants "around 50%" of the cars it sells to be "purely electric" by 2025, while the other half will be sold as a hybrid. On the subject of new energy vehicles that need government incentives to increase sales, Samuelsson said: "In the long term, we need to have sustainable concepts that can be sold at their own merits."

"But, of course, government support for electric cars would be very helpful in the first years of transition, and support in setting up a charging system would be even more helpful."

In fact, "fear of range" – an idea that electric vehicles cannot go on long journeys without loss of performance – has long been seen as a potential obstacle to the admission of electric vehicles. Better charging infrastructure is probably the key to fighting this perception.

Little by little changes take place during loading. Last month, McDonald & # 39; s UK announced it would install quick charging stations for electric vehicles in the country's new transit restaurants.

The fast food giant works with a company called InstaVolt that specializes in technology. If possible, the charging infrastructure will also be introduced in existing drive-through restaurants, with the technology being "converted" to new drive-thrus systems as standard.

Governments around the world are trying to incentivize the introduction of electric vehicles. In Norway, which is often cited as a model for low-emission cars, the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association does not have to pay annual road tax, has "access to bus lanes" and is exempt from 25% VAT on purchases, among other things. According to the association, these incentives will exist "until the end of 2021" if the government revises them.

Governments are also trying to improve the charging infrastructure. In January, the UK government announced plans to double the cost of installing charging stations on residential streets to £ 10m ($ 12.72m). At the time, the government said the money – which will go to installations in 2021 – could "fund up to 3,600 charging stations across the country."

On Tuesday, Volvo Cars also reported financial results for the first half of the year. Global sales decreased 20.8% in the first six months of the year as the company acknowledged that the results "were affected by the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the global economy".

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