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Co­in­cid­ing with the launch of the new Volvo XC40 T5 Twin En­gine plug-in hybrid elec­tric ve­hi­cle (PHEV) in China last month, Volvo an­nounced that fully elec­tric cars, or bat­tery elec­tric ve­hi­cles (BEV), would make up 50% of its sales by 2025. The an­nounce­ment builds on Volvo’s an­nounce­ment in 2017 that all new mod­els re­leased from 2019 will be avail­able as a hybrid elec­tric ve­hi­cle (HEV), PHEV or BEV. The new Volvo XC40 T5 Twin En­gine cross­over fea­tures a rel­a­tively small 9.7 kWh bat­tery pack and a 55 kW elec­tric motor that drives the front wheels, cou­pled with a three-cylin­der petrol en­gine and a seven-speed dual clutch trans­mis­sion. As with most PHEVs, elec­tric range is limited to about 40 kilo­me­tres of re­al­world driv­ing. Ac­cord­ing to last year’s Naamsa sales fig­ures, the Volvo XC90 T8 is the most suc­cess­ful hybrid SUV in South Africa, out­selling its Ger­man coun­ter­parts by a sig­nif­i­cant mar­gin of 4:1. “The suc­cess of our T8 in the lo­cal mar­ket puts Volvo in a very strong po­si­tion in the hybrid/elec­tric ve­hi­cle seg­ment, and that is es­pe­cially im­por­tant in tougher mar­kets, such as ours. We’re con­fi­dent that Volvo will con­tinue to lead as elec­tri­fi­ca­tion gains a foothold in South Africa and fur­ther afield,” says Greg Maruszewski, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of Volvo Car South Africa.

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