Volvo plugs into an elec­tric-car fu­ture

From 2019 all cars from the Swedish car­maker will be full elec­tric or hy­brid

The Star Early Edition - - MOTORING - JA­SON WOOSEY

WHEN it comes to the elec­tri­fi­ca­tion of the car, Volvo is boldly putting its money where its mouth is.

This week the Swedish car com­pany, which is owned by China’s Geely, an­nounced that all new mod­els launched from 2019 on­wards will ei­ther be fully elec­tric or hy­brids, mean­ing that in the not too dis­tant fu­ture you won’t be able to buy a Volvo that’s pow­ered solely by an in­ter­nal combustion engine.

Strictly speak­ing this won’t hap­pen in 2019, as mod­els in­tro­duced be­fore then will still be avail­able with con­ven­tional pow­er­trains, pos­si­bly un­til the end of their life cy­cles.

Nor does it mean that the com­pany plans to phase out in­ter­nal combustion en­gines any time soon, just that even­tu­ally all petrol and diesel en­gines will be mated to an elec­tric mo­tor in one way or an­other.

The up­mar­ket hy­brids, as per to­day’s ‘Twin Engine’ T8 mod­els, will feature larger bat­tery packs of­fer­ing plug-in func­tion­al­ity for all-elec­tric city com­mut­ing, while the more af­ford­able cars won’t of­fer that perk as they’ll be ‘mild’ hy­brids with 48 volt power sys­tems.

At the up­per end of the range will be five new full elec­tric ve­hi­cles, to be launched by 2021, in­clud­ing two high-per­for­mance, Tesla-chas­ing Polestar-badged cars. This fol­lows last month’s an­nounce­ment that Polestar will be­come a sep­a­rately-branded di­vi­sion fo­cused solely on fast elec­tric cars.

Volvo sees its 2019 strat­egy as a game changer, putting elec­tri­fi­ca­tion at the core of its fu­ture plans and giv­ing it one of the broad­est elec­tri­fied car of­fer­ings in the busi­ness.

“This an­nounce­ment marks the end of the solely combustion engine-pow­ered car,” said Volvo CEO Håkan Sa­muels­son.

“Volvo Cars has stated that it plans to have sold a to­tal of one mil­lion elec­tri­fied cars by 2025. When we said it, we meant it. This is how we are go­ing to do it.”

Volvo added that it also plans to en­sure that its man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ties are “cli­mate-neu­tral” by 2025.

This il­lus­tra­tion shows how a petrol engine is com­bined with an elec­tric mo­tor in a Twin Engine plug-in hy­brid.

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