Volvo to open new tech hub in Poland to develop future EV software in-house

Volvo Cars has shared plans to open an entirely new “Tech Hub” in Krakow, Poland, before year’s end. The new European footprint will serve as a key software development center for the EV automaker as it looks to go entirely electric by 2030.

Since announcing its target for becoming an entirely-EV brand by the end of the decade, Volvo Cars has made huge strides in embracing the movement, while simultaneously working to develop the technology to help get it there.

Since being acquired by Geely Holding Group in 2010, Volvo is gearing up for its largest overhaul to date, vowing to convert its entire lineup of base models to BEVs over the next several years. The automaker’s current EV lineup remains somewhat small but is growing and saw more than double sales in 2022 alongside record-setting revenues.

As Volvo Cars braces for a potentially challenging year due to continued supply chain disruptions, it remains confident its EV sales growth will continue. A model with the potential to truly bolster Volvo’s global sales will be the upcoming EX90, which its maker is hailing as the “safest vehicle it has ever produced.”

As Volvo Cars looks to lead by example in promoting electrification, it also intends to become a global leader in new EV technology, more specifically, software developed in-house. We’ve learned today that much of the software technology we will see in future Volvo EVs will come from Poland.

Volvo Poland
The upcoming EX90 SUV / Credit: Volvo Cars

Volvo names Poland is new software development mecca

Volvo Cars shared details of its plans in Poland today, which include the new Tech Hub in Krakow – the country’s second-largest city behind Warsaw, its capital. According to the automaker, the new hub will inherit the full responsibility of developing complete key features for new BEVs, including core safety, perception, driver assistance, and autonomous driving capabilities.

As we’ve seen in the aforementioned EX90, Volvo’s vehicles, like all EVs, are becoming more and more software-defined, setting the stage for automakers to gain a larger segment of the market by delivering cars and trucks that are not only more technologically advanced than competitors but also offer the capability to get better over time using over-the-air (OTA) updates.

Volvo recognizes this and says it is putting large efforts into the new Tech Hub and its engineering staff to accelerate its transformation into a EV software leader. Volvo Cars CEO Jim Rowan spoke:

We’re a purpose-led and technology-driven company, so our new generation of Volvo cars will be more than just transport. They’ll be computers on wheels, designed to be updated over the air with new software. That means our Krakow tech hub and growing our in-house software development capabilities are key to our future success.

Volvo says it chose Krakow after much deliberation because the automaker has had a presence in Poland for over 30 years and sees the city as an emerging tech magnet with a large existing telecom sector. It believes it’s setting up shop in Krakow before its competitors and intends to take advantage of the untapped talent pool.

Volvo Cars expects the new hub to be open before the end of the year with about 120 employees before expanding to between 500 and 600 staff in Krakow alone by mid-decade. When operational, the Krakow Tech Hub will join Volvo’s current hubs in Stockholm and Lund, Sweden. The company is already trying to recruit the best engineering minds, per chief people officer Hanna Fager:

Our ambition is to attract and recruit top talent globally by being present in strategically important locations. Our new Tech Hub in Krakow is a perfect example of that. So if you’re interested in shaping the future of mobility with a brand that’s at the forefront of technology development, and inspired to be part of nurturing our strong culture and values, Volvo Cars is the place for you.

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