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Volvo enters age of EVs

POSTED BY Nigel Andretti ON 16 October 2015

VOLVO is going to introduce plug-in hybrid cars across its entire model range and build a fully electric car that will go on sale by 2019.

The Swedish automaker becomes the latest to embrace electricity as a way to reduce emissions as concerns about global warming grow, saying it will develop an entirely new range of electrified smaller cars.

Volvo says electrified cars will account for about 10 per cent of its sales in “the medium term” worldwide.

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.

Håkan Samuelsson, President and CEO of Volvo Cars (below), 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.”

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

It says its 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.

“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.”

Images: Volvo