Volvo Cars 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.
In conjunction with this strategy, Volvo Cars will introduce an all new range of compact 40-series cars built on its highly-innovative Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), a smaller but equally advanced version of Volvo’s acclaimed Scalable Product Architecture (SPA).
Like SPA, CMA is designed for electrification from the outset. The company’s first car on CMA is expected to be launched in 2017. CMA’s introduction in 2017 means that all future Volvo’s will be built on just two fully scalable and wholly modular vehicle architectures.
Says Volvo Cars NZ general manager Stephen Kenchington: “CMA allows Volvo to offer customers of compact cars the same type of premium engineering benefits as owners of our 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, data network and safety systems taking Volvo ever closer to our vision of no deaths or injuries in our new cars by 2020.”
The first element of the new electrification strategy involves the introduction of plug-in hybrid versions of Volvo’s SPA-based 90- and 60-series larger cars.
Steve confirms this process will get underway in New Zealand in the first quarter 2016 with the launch of the T8 Twin Engine all-wheel drive plug-in hybrid version of Volvo’s All-New XC90 seven-seater SUV. This will continue with plug-in hybrid versions of the new S90 premium sedan and other forthcoming models. Further details of the fully electric model planned for release by 2019 will be released at a later date.
Commenting on the progress made in vehicle electrification, Steve added: “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 sales in New Zealand will be electrified cars. We believe that plug-in hybrid cars offer customers the best combination of efficiency, range and convenience.
“Our All-New XC90 T8 Twin Engine will be the world’s first plug-in hybrid seven-seater SUV, making it the cleanest and yet one of the most powerful seven-seater SUVs on the market. It will deliver more than 300kW, and just 49 g/km CO2, plus a pure electric range of 43km, an industry leading 2.1 L/100 km in fuel economy, will reach 100 km/h in just 5.6 seconds.”
Dr Peter Mertens, Volvo Cars senior vice president for research and development says: “We have learned a lot about how people use cars with electrification. Our research has shown that people are driving Volvo’s 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.”