As is so often the case, Volvo's new initiative has kicked off before an actual announcement, with the debut of the new XC90 T8 TwinEngine plug-in. The full-size SUV uses a 2.0-liter, twin-charged four-cylinder along with a plug-in hybrid system to produce 400 horsepower, 472 pound-feet of torque, cover 25 miles on electric power alone, and return an estimated 112 US miles per gallon (on the European cycle). It will be followed up by a PHV version of the upcoming S90 sedan, with the tech featured there likely filtering down to lesser models. The electric car, meanwhile, will arrive in 2019, although details on this new model are virtually nonexistent, besides its anticipated on-sale date.
"We believe that the time has come for electrified cars to cease being a niche technology and enter the mainstream," Volvo President and CEO Håkan Samuelsson said. "We are confident that by 2020, 10 per cent of Volvo's global sales will be electrified cars." Check out the official press release from Volvo, available below.
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.
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.
Volvo Car Group in 2014
For the 2014 financial year, Volvo Car Group recorded an operating profit of 2,252 MSEK (1,919 MSEK in 2013). Revenue over the period amounted to 129,959 MSEK (122,245 MSEK). For the full year 2014, global sales reached a record 465,866 cars, an increase of 8.9 per cent versus 2013. The record sales and operating profit cleared the way for Volvo Car Group to continue investing in its global transformation plan.
About Volvo Car Group
Volvo has been in operation since 1927. Today, Volvo Cars is one of the most well-known and respected car brands in the world with sales of 465,866 in 2014 in about 100 countries. Volvo Cars has been under the ownership of the Zhejiang Geely Holding (Geely Holding) of China since 2010. It formed part of the Swedish Volvo Group until 1999, when the company was bought by Ford Motor Company of the US. In 2010, Volvo Cars was acquired by Geely Holding.
As of December 2014, Volvo Cars had over 26,000 employees worldwide. Volvo Cars head office, product development, marketing and administration functions are mainly located in Gothenburg, Sweden. Volvo Cars head office for China is located in Shanghai. The company's main car production plants are located in Gothenburg (Sweden), Ghent (Belgium) and Chengdu (China), while engines are manufactured in Skövde (Sweden) and Zhangjiakou (China) and body components in Olofström (Sweden).