Marque will add electric versions of existing range, rather than new EV-only models; next-generation XC90 will gain an EV

Volvo design chief Thomas Ingenlath has confirmed that the brand’s first fully electric car will be a version of the XC40, with the next-generation XC90 also gaining an EV variant.

Speaking at the reveal of the new S60 sports saloon, Ingenlath said that it would come after the firm’s electric sub-brand Polestar launches its second car, the 2 that's due in 2019, and would be followed by an electric version of the XC90, which is due to go into production at Volvo's new factory in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2021.

Ingenlath said the company would only produce electric versions of current cars, rather than building entirely new electric-only machines, such as Volkswagen is doing with its ID line-up.

“It’s not a secret any more that the first full electric Volvo is on its way with the XC40 coming," said Ingenlath. "It will arrive very soon after the Polestar 2. That is the first to come that’s not exotic. We’ll start with XC40 and then on it will come step after step into our model range. The next car will be the next-generation XC90.

"That will be the masterplan of how electrification will come to the Volvo product range. We will not establish products beside our hybrids, we will introduce electrification as a powertrain variant within the existing portfolio.

“You could say that is different to a lot of the mass-production brands. But I have a hard time to understand how their plan will work in the long run. Electrification is the future of the automotive industry, so how do you handle that as soon as you come to the majority of electric cars? How do you handle it in your portfolio? I think it’s much more natural to say it’s a powertrain variant that over time will take up the majority of the sold vehicles."

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Both all-electric Volvos are due with lithium ion battery power, like their sibling from sister brand Polestar. The XC40 EV will join the XC40 plug-in hybrid in the range to give that car two electrified variants.

Volvo has set itself a target for 50% of its sales volume to be fully electric cars by 2025.

While Volvo will focus on electric versions of its current line-up, Ingenlath said that the Polestar sub-brand - which he also heads - could be used to develop bolder EV-only cars.

"We definitely don’t want to bring something that we’ve so successfully just launched like an XC40 to an end just because combustion engines will disappear," he said. "To look at new formats, new bodystyles and non-traditional elements, we founded Polestar to take care of that end of the scope. We developed that strategy: full electrification of the Volvo range, making it a natural part of the offer, and at the same time developing new, unconventional elements in the Polestar brand." 

The Swedish car maker, which is owned by Chinese giant Geely, has pledged to launch an electrified version of every model in its line-up from 2019. Every Volvo will eventually be offered with a mild hybrid, hybrid or battery-electric powertrain option, and the firm won't launch any diesel variants of forthcoming models.

The new S60, revealed today, illustrates the philosophy, as it comes with two plug-in hybrid variants, the T8 Twin Engine, which produces a combined 385bhp, and a Polestar Engineered performance version of the same model. The latter has been developed by Volvo’s new performance sub-brand and has a combined power output of 409bhp.

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Comments
7

20 June 2018

Are Volvo on some sought of deal with Autocar at the moment. There's virtually nothing in this story other than Volvo won't have a ground up BEV any time soon

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

20 June 2018
xxxx wrote:

Are Volvo on some sought of deal with Autocar at the moment. There's virtually nothing in this story other than Volvo won't have a ground up BEV any time soon

I think it is just because they've had a big launch of the S60 at their new factory in America. 

21 June 2018
xxxx wrote:

Are Volvo on some sought of deal with Autocar at the moment. There's virtually nothing in this story other than Volvo won't have a ground up BEV any time soon

totally agree. Although early days they must have done some prototype studies at least and have some idea of where they want to be with price range and battery range, are they going the bonkers fast high price route or the sensible fast sensible price direction? All it tells us is what we already know, that all major manufacturers will be eventually making EV's, of some sort, some time.

22 June 2018

Volvo has to respond to it's largest markets. China demands electric vehicles as does Norway. It is a no brainer they have to build them to stay in business. With platform sharing with parent company Geely and sister Polestar the development costs are manageable.

Mesumguy

23 June 2018
xxxx wrote:

Are Volvo on some sought of deal with Autocar at the moment. There's virtually nothing in this story other than Volvo won't have a ground up BEV any time soon

Unlike other "premium" brands, Volvo developed SPA and CMA to be fully or partially electric, fully ectric  is not viable yet for a large proportion of the car buying population, they either cant afford them, need a more reliable range with stoppint for long periods to recharge, or have no means of charging them. So in my opinion Hybrid is the current best option, but by offering both Volvo seem to have it covered, they are still the only manufcturer who sells 7 seat SUV's with a hybrid power train, that doesnt require the rear seats being ripped out to make it a hybrid, thus making them a 5 seater, and losing the sole reason many buy them in the first place. 

Oh and its sort, not sought..     ;) 

22 June 2018

Rather this than some JLR tat, at least it feels premium and won’t break down every ten yards.

22 June 2018

Rather this than some JLR tat, at least it feels premium and won’t break down every ten yards.

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