Volvo plugs into an electric-car future
From 2019 all cars from the Swedish carmaker will be full electric or hybrid
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.