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 in two years’ time, 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 CARS’ NEW GLOBAL COMPACT CAR RANGE TO BE BUILT ON INNOVATIVE ARCHITECTURE
Volvo Cars is to extend its range of compact cars into new segments on its highly-innovative Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), a smaller but equally advanced version of Volvo’s acclaimed Scalable Product Architecture (SPA). The company’s first car on CMA is expected to be launched in 2017.
CMA’s introduction in 2017 means that all future Volvo cars will be built on just two fully scalable and wholly modular vehicle architectures.
The simultaneous development of SPA and CMA has formed the cornerstone of Volvo’s product renewal and growth strategy, which involves the replacement of every single car in its line-up in the next four years and an annual sales volume of up 800,000 cars. This process started with the launch of the XC90 and will continue shortly with the launch of the new S90 premium sedan.
CMA allows Volvo Cars to offer customers of compact cars the same type of premium engineering benefits as owners of its larger cars built on SPA. Shared technology between SPA and CMA will include powertrains (both conventional and new plug-in hybrid variants) and the infotainment, climate and data network and safety systems taking the Swedish car maker ever closer to its vision of no deaths or injuries in its new cars by 2020.
“The flexibility of CMA liberates Volvo’s engineers and designers, allowing them to devise and introduce a wide range of new and alluring features whilst at the same time improving drivability, offering world-class safety features and connected car technologies,” said Dr Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President, Research & Development at Volvo Car Group.
CMA will also change the way Volvo Cars builds its products in the future by allowing a wide range of cars, powertrains, electrical systems and technologies of varying complexity to be fitted on the same architecture, generating significant economies of scale and a more streamlined manufacturing process.
Volvo Cars’ CMA has been designed from the outset to embrace electrification – offering a new Twin Engine plug-in hybrid variant designed especially for the new architecture.
“We are in a terrific position with CMA. We have developed this new architecture as a plug and play component. This means that on Volvo’s next generation of compact cars you will benefit from the advanced technologies available on our XC90 today,”
said Dr Mertens.
Volvo Cars expects to significantly increase its global volumes with the coming range of CMA-based cars, which will have a truly global footprint and take the Swedish brand into exciting new product segments.
“CMA is a key part of the continued growth strategy of the Volvo Cars brand,” said Björn Annwall, Senior Vice President, Sales Marketing and Customer Service at Volvo Car Group. “Apart from offering all the benefits and features of a larger premium car, such as the industry-leading safety, powertrain and infotainment technologies, CMA will deliver a true and distinctive Volvo driving and ownership experience setting it apart from others in this growing premium segment.”