• Volvo Announces Global Electrification Strategy

Battery technology has evolved so much over the past few years that demand for plug-in and all-electric vehicles is increasing. Manufacturers like BMW, Mercedes, and even Aston Martin are planning to make a bigger footprint in the plug-in hybrid and electric vehicle market. Now Volvo has announced its plan to introduce plug-in hybrids across its entire range of models starting with its 90- and 60-series vehicles. The plug-in version of the 2016 Volvo XC90 is the first example, and the S90 sedan will be next.

Along with electrification of its current models, Volvo will also introduce a line of smaller plug-in hybrids, known as the 40-series, and an all-electric model by the end of the decade as a competitor for Tesla Model S. Hakan Samuelsson – the President and CEO of Volvo – spoke on the matter saying, “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 percent of Volvo’s global sales will be electrified cars.” Volvo hasn’t released any other details on the all-electric model, or the 40-series range it has planned, but they have mentioned it will broaden its current range with a new, Twin Engine model that will be front-wheel drive. We will keep you up to date as further details are released on Volvo’s newest strategy.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it matters

It is no surprise that Volvo has adopted this strategy. Battery technology has improved enough that the range anxiety that comes along with battery-powered vehicles is starting to fade. I for one have never liked the idea of electric vehicles, but the numbers don’t lie. The XC90, for instance, puts out the equivalent of 407 horsepower and can hit 62 mph in just 5.6 seconds. Sure its all-electric range is only 26 miles, but for small commutes or a trip to the grocery store, 26 miles is more than enough. It’s clear that it’s only a matter of time before our reliance on fossil fuels is a thing of the past.

Volvo XC90 T8

2016 Volvo XC90 T8 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the XC90 T8 here.

Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topspeed.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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Press Release

Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, has announced one of the automotive industry’s most comprehensive electrification strategies in which plug-in hybrids will be introduced across its entire range. It will develop an entirely new range of electrified smaller cars and build a fully electric car for sale by 2019.

Volvo Announces Global Electrification Strategy
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As part of this new strategy, the Swedish car company said it expects electrified vehicles to account for up to 10 per cent of total car sales in the medium term.

The first element of the new electrification strategy involves the introduction of plug-in hybrid versions of its 90 series and 60 series larger cars, based on the company’s new Scalable Product Architecture. This process has already begun with the launch of the T8 Twin Engine All-Wheel Drive plug-in hybrid version of its new XC90 SUV and will continue with plug-in hybrid versions of the new S90 premium sedan and other forthcoming models.

Volvo Cars will also broaden the range of plug-in hybrid cars it offers with the introduction of a new front-wheel drive Twin Engine variant.

The Swedish car maker will further deepen its product offering with the introduction of an entirely new range of smaller 40 series cars based on its newly-developed Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), which, like SPA, has been designed from the outset for electrification. This makes Volvo Car Group one of very few car makers in the world with two brand new vehicle architectures designed to support both plug-in and pure electric powertrain configurations.

Lastly, Volvo Cars has confirmed that it will build an all-electric car for sale by 2019. Further details of this planned model will be released 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 per cent of Volvo’s global sales will be electrified cars.”

Volvo Cars believes that plug-in hybrid cars offer customers the best combination of efficiency, range and convenience.

For example, Volvo Cars’ XC90 T8 Twin Engine is one of the cleanest and most powerful 7-seater SUV on the market, delivering over 407 horsepower equivalent and just 49 g/km CO2, plus a pure electric range of 43 km, an industry leading 2.1 l/100 km in fuel economy and reaching 100 km/h in just 5.6 seconds.

This combination of power, efficiency and environmental friendliness will be the hall marks of all of Volvo Cars’ forthcoming electrified models.

“We have learned a lot about how people use cars with electrification thanks to our current product offer,” said Dr Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President for Research and Development. “Our research has shown that people are driving our Twin Engine cars in electric mode around 50 per cent of the time, meaning our plug-in hybrids already offer a real alternative to conventional powertrain systems.”

“With around 40 years of experience in the field of electrification, Volvo Cars has learned a lot about battery management along the way, delivering the best range per kilowatt hour in the industry. 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,” Dr Mertens added.

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