Volvo Cars

InfluenceMap Score
for Climate Policy Engagement
Performance Band
Organization Score
Relationship Score
Gothenburg, Sweden
Brands and Associated Companies:
Official Web Site:

Climate Lobbying Overview: Volvo Cars has lobbied EU and US climate policy for vehicles with mixed but increasingly positive engagement in 2021-23. The company has positive top-line communications on climate and has supported an EU 2035 zero-emissions CO2 target, while appearing to have more mixed engagement on US climate policy.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Volvo Cars has positive top-line communications on climate policy. The company has consistently expressed support for the Paris Agreement, for example in its January 2023 ‘Climate Action’ position paper. Volvo Cars has also signed joint letters in support of a 2050 zero-emissions target for shipping at the UN International Maritime Organization in September 2021, and for the EU Green deal and net-zero 2050 target in May 2022. Furthermore, statements in a November 2022 Automotive News article from Volvo Cars’ CEO, Jim Rowan, indicate support for the climate provisions relating to the autos sector in the US Inflation Reduction Act. Similarly, the CEO of Polestar, a Volvo Cars subsidiary, urged governments to increase the ambition of climate regulation for the automotive sector in the run-up to COP27 in September 2022. Volvo Cars’ head of sustainability also appeared supportive of carbon pricing policies in a November 2022 press release and a 1.5C global warming target in its January 2023 Climate Action position paper.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: Volvo Cars has mostly positive engagement on CO2 regulations for light-duty vehicles. In 2021-23, Volvo Cars consistently supported an EU 2035 zero-emissions CO2 target, including in a May 2022 joint letter to EU policymakers and a June 2022 Twitter post. Joint letters signed by Volvo Cars in October 2022 and March 2023 further supported a 2035 EU zero-emissions CO2 target and advocated against a loophole allowing ICE-powered vehicles to continue using e-fuels after 2035. In a March 2023 Automotive News Europe news article, the CEO of Polestar, a Volvo Cars subsidiary, appeared to oppose Germany’s calls for a last-minute loophole to be included for synthetic e-fuels at the final stages of the regulation, as well as its decision to abstain from voting in favor of the 2035 zero-emissions target.

In Australia, Volvo Cars’ subsidiary, Polestar, appears to broadly support the introduction of ambitious Australian CO2 emission standards for light-duty vehicles, for example in a September 2022 WhichCar article, where the company’s managing director urged the “need to catch up with the rest of the world”. Similarly, in an April 2023 ABC News article, Polestar appeared to advocate for the adoption of fuel efficiency standards in line with other countries to help promote the uptake of EVs.

In a September 2021 US consultation response, Volvo Cars did not explicitly state support for mid-range vehicle GHG emissions standards in the US, instead supporting flexibilities that may have weakened the stringency of the policy, such as extending the advanced technology vehicle multiplier and increasing the cap for off-cycle technologies. In August 2021, Volvo Cars also signed a joint statement supporting a “strong nationwide greenhouse gas emissions standard” in the US, without specifying the level of stringency supported. Furthermore, according to a June 2022 Reuters article, Volvo Cars supported the Biden Administration’s plans to restore California’s ability to set more stringent state-level vehicle GHG emissions standards.

Moreover, in an October 2022 EU consultation response, Volvo Cars stated support for EU low-emission steel standards.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Volvo Cars appears to strongly support measures to promote the electrification of transportation and policies to phase out internal combustion engine (ICE) powered vehicles. Volvo Cars consistently supported the phase-out of ICE-powered vehicle sales in the EU in 2021-22, including in April 2021, May 2022 and October 2022 joint letters. In November 2021, the company also signed a global pledge made at COP26 supporting a global phase-out of ICE-powered vehicles in leading markets by 2035 and globally by 2040. In November 2022, Volvo Cars’ Australian managing director also noted in a statement to ABC News that "I personally don't think there's a future for combustion engines we can't keep selling old technology that's outdated and also keeps pumping out lots of CO2". Similarly, in a September 2022 Polestar (a subsidiary of Volvo Cars) press release, its CEO advocated that “a global ban on ICE vehicles must come sooner” than in 2035.

Volvo Cars has consistently communicated support for the electrification of transportation, including in its 2021 annual report, published in 2022, and in an August 2021 joint statement on the Biden Administration’s US climate plan for cars and trucks. In a November 2021 press release, Volvo Cars advocated for government support to aid the electrification of transportation, including investments in clean energy capacity and expansion of EV charging infrastructure. In a September 2021 consultation response, Volvo Cars appeared to oppose higher EV tax credits for unionized vehicles in the US Build Back Better Act, while supporting higher EV tax credits in general. A statement from Volvo Cars CEO, Jim Rowan, in a November 2022 Automotive News report, also indicated the company’s support for US EV purchase incentives in the US Inflation Reduction Act.

In September 2021, Volvo Cars signed a joint We Mean Business letter advocating for policymakers to end new coal power developments and financing, phase-out coal by 2030 in advanced economies and 2040 in other countries, and remove fossil fuel subsidies by 2025.

Industry Association Governance: Volvo Cars does not appear to provide a disclosure of its global memberships of industry associations on its website in 2023, nor has the company published an industry association review. The CEO of Volvo Cars, Jim Rowan, was previously on the board of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), however Volvo Cars left ACEA at the end of 2022 due to a reported misalignment with its climate advocacy. Volvo Cars is a member of US-based Alliance for Automotive Innovation, which has actively lobbied US climate policy with mixed engagement, and the UK-based Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which has mixed engagement on UK climate policy. It is also a member of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), which has engaged negatively with Australian climate policy for light-duty vehicles.

InfluenceMap collects and assesses evidence of corporate climate policy engagement on a weekly basis, depending on the availability of information from each specific data source (for more information see our methodology). While this analysis flows through to the company’s scores each week, the summary above is updated periodically. This summary was last updated in Q2 2023.

Strength of Relationship

How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.