Despite Volvo’s extensive lineup of electric cars, the head of Research and Development, Anders Bell, opts to drive a Tesla Model Y to work. But this choice is far from accidental. Anders Bell’s unique career journey explains his preference for a Tesla.
Bell initially began his career at Volvo Cars in 1998, focusing on interior design for the 60 and 90 series. However, he temporarily left the company in 2016 when he was recruited by Tesla to work as Senior Director of Engineering. After spending six years at Tesla’s facilities in Fremont, California, and Berlin, Germany, Bell returned to Volvo in November 2022.
Now back at Volvo, Bell’s current role entails reducing product and service costs, simplifying complexity, and prioritizing customer value through development. Despite his firsthand experience at Tesla, Bell emphasized that it is challenging for Volvo to copy the Californian startup culture and apply it successfully in Europe.
Interestingly, Bell is not only a Tesla driver; he also owns a Volvo. However, he prefers not to be seen driving his Tesla Model Y while working for the Swedish carmaker. In a conversation with Goteborg’s Posten, Bell humorously stated, “No pictures now, I happened to take the wrong car today.”
Bell draws a comparison between Volvo’s transition to electric cars and a newspaper embracing the digital era by transitioning to online-only content. While Volvo is progressively shifting to electric vehicles, Tesla, on the other hand, was able to entirely bypass internal combustion engines and start fresh as a fully digital automaker.
Meanwhile, Volvo has made substantial investments in its engineering centers and Tech Hubs worldwide. Recently, Bell toured the newly opened test center in Gothenburg, Sweden, which received a $27.4 million investment. This state-of-the-art facility enables the testing of new software and electric cars.
Curiously, despite his affinity for Tesla, Bell continues to contribute to Volvo’s efforts to expand their EV lineup. From the affordable EX30 crossover to the upcoming flagship EX90 SUV, Volvo is committed to the electrification of its vehicles and providing customers with sustainable transportation options.
Q: Why does the head of Research and Development at Volvo drive a Tesla?
A: Anders Bell, the Volvo executive, drives a Tesla Model Y because he previously worked for Tesla and owned the electric vehicle before rejoining Volvo.
Q: Why does Anders Bell compare Volvo’s transition to electric cars with a newspaper going digital?
A: Bell compares Volvo’s transition to electric cars with a newspaper embracing the digital era because Volvo is progressively shifting to electric vehicles, while Tesla started as a fully digital automaker from the beginning.
Q: What is the purpose of Volvo’s new test center in Gothenburg, Sweden?
A: Volvo’s new test center serves as a flagship facility for engineering and testing software and electric vehicles, showcasing the company’s commitment to EV development.