Volvo an Uber announced a deal where Uber will purchase 24,000 Volvo XC90 Plug-In Hybrid SUVs over 3 years to expand Uber's self-driving fleet. Uber has been testing self-driving vehicles in Pittsburgh since Autumn 2016 with human supervision in the driver seat. Over 100 such vehicles are currently in operation in the city.
The deal marks the largest single order of vehicles for Geely owned Volvo. While no financial details were disclosed, the minimum retail price for an XC90 T8 Hybrid is $64,950. Volvo expects the profit margin per vehicle to be on par with traditional sales through a dealership network.
Uber chose the XC90 because much of the hardware to add autonomous capabilities is already built into the car. Geely/Volvo engineers have been working closely with Uber to ensure that compatibility going forward.
With a major shift in buying and driving habits coming in the future, Volvo is placing its chips on partnering with Uber to remain relevant in an industry ripe for disruption.