Volvo to Take On Tesla with New All-Electric Car
Volvo has announced it will develop an entirely new range of electrified smaller cars and build a fully electric car for sale by 2019.
As part of this new strategy, the Swedish car company says 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 (SPA). 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 saloon and other forthcoming models.
Volvo 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 manufacturer then plans to further expand 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 one of very few car brands in the world with two completely new vehicle architectures designed to support both plug-in and pure electric powertrain configurations.
T5 Twin Engine on CMA
“We believe that the time has come for electrified cars to cease being a niche technology and enter the mainstream. We are confident that in two years’ time, 10 per cent of Volvo’s global sales will be electrified cars,” says Volvo CEO, Håkan Samuelsson
Volvo claims that plug-in hybrid cars offer customers the best combination of efficiency, range and convenience.
“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,” says Volvo R&D boss, Dr Peter Mertens.
“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.