Sweden – The OEM has announced that plug-in hybrids will be introduced across its entire range, in the expectation that electric vehicles will make up 10% of total car sales in the medium term. Volvo will also develop an entirely new range of electrified smaller cars, plus a fully electric model by 2019.
The first part of the strategy will involve the introduction of plug-in hybrid versions of the 90 and 60 series larger cars, based on Volvo’s new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA). The process has already begun with the launch of the T8 Twin Engine, all-wheel drive, plug-in hybrid version of the XC90 SUV and will continue with plug-in hybrid versions of the new S90 premium sedan, as well as other models. Volvo will also debut a front-wheel drive Twin Engine variant.
The upcoming range of smaller 40 series cars will be based on the newly developed Compact Modular Architecture, which – like SPA – has been designed from the outset for electrification. As for the all-electric vehicle for sale by 2019, Volvo says it will release details at a later date.
Håkan Samuelsson, president and CEO of Volvo Cars, said: “We believe that the time has come for electrified cars to cease being a niche technology and enter the mainstream. We are confident that by 2020, 10% of Volvo’s global sales will be electrified cars.”
Pointing to the company’s 40 years of experience with electrification, Peter Mertens, senior vice-president for R&D at Volvo, added: “We have come to a point where the cost versus benefit calculation for electrification is now almost positive. Battery technology has improved, costs are going down, and public acceptance of electrification is no longer a question.”