Currently reading: Volvo's Tesla rival to spearhead electrified future
Swedish firm confirms plan to launch a full-electric mid-sized car with 325-mile range by 2019 - and to sell plug-in versions of all models
Steve Cropley Autocar
News
2 mins read
15 October 2015

Volvo will launch a mid-size battery-electric car with a range of around 325 miles by 2019.

The Tesla rival, which is likely to be an SUV rather than saloon, will be a showcase for Volvo's electrical know-how, with the firm also pledging to launch a plug-in hybrid version of every new model it launches in the next five years.

Volvo chiefs say the Tesla rival will be “a long-range car, offering premium performance and rapid charging”.

According to R&D chief Peter Mertens, the commitment to plug-in models is a result of the technology "offering customers the best combination of efficiency, range and convenience."

Volvo says its historic move follows improvements in battery technology, falling costs and wide public acceptance of electric cars. "The time has come for electric cars to cease being a niche technology and enter the mainstream," said Volvo president and CEO, Hakan Samuelsson. "We are confident that by 2020, 10% of Volvo's global sales will be electrified cars."

Volvo sees the years 2020-25 as the “period of critical acceptance” for electrified cars. The company draws an comparison between its push towards safety - it wants to eliminate deaths via accidents in its road cars by the year 2020 - and this new determination to push electrification.

The programme will start with the introduction of plug-in electric versions of Volvo's larger cars, the 60-series and 90-series models that already utilise the company's new large Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA), which was designed from the outset for electrification. The first of these models, the Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine all-wheel drive, has already been launched in Sweden, and will come to the UK next January.

The XC90 T8  delivers more than 407bhp and has a pure electric range of around 25 miles, while - according to current statutory NEDC test cycle - emitting just 49g/km CO2 and returning fuel consumption well over 100mpg. There will also be a plug-in version of the forthcoming Volvo S90 large saloon.

Volvo is also planning to launch a front-wheel drive Twin Engine powertrain set-up, so that plug-in hybrids which don't need it, need not have the complexity and weight disadvantages of four-wheel drive. Later, an "entirely new" range of 40-series Volvos, using the Geely-Volvo Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform, will hit the market, all offering plug-in hybrid versions.

The CMA platform, which comes on stream from 2017, is critical to Volvo's plan to raise its sales to 800,000 cars a year by 2020, and to replace every model in its range over the next four years. Mertens says the flexibility of CMA will allow the company to offer buyers "the same type of premium engineering benefits as owners of larger cars".

Get the latest car news, reviews and galleries from Autocar direct to your inbox every week. Enter your email address below:

 

Advertisement
Advertisement

Find an Autocar review

Read our review

Car review
Volvo XC60

Volvo is justifiably proud of its different approach, and the usable, attractive XC60 is good enough to stand out in a very able compact SUV crowd

Join the debate

Comments
12
Add a comment…
lambo1 15 October 2015

youve missed the point

youve missed the point completely but like I said
No worries
winniethewoo 15 October 2015

I didn't realise that

I didn't realise that companies like Tesla and Volvo existed for altruistic purposes, so thanks for that.
lambo1 15 October 2015

no worries

no worries
winniethewoo 15 October 2015

I should also say that all

I should also say that all carmakers are cognisant of the fact the eventual aim is zero carbon. 0g/km. This excludes ICE engines in any form. They don't have any kind of future except perhaps in exotic vehicles like Ferrari's.
lambo1 15 October 2015

they wouldnt do anything...

these manufacturers would not do anything if legislation had not forced them to.
The difference between these Johnny come latelys is that they really want to keep the status quo because that's their course of least resistance. None of them have an altruistic bone in their corperate bodies
The problem for them is that Elon Musk came along with true ideology with thinking that is totally outside the box and really put a cat amongst the so called pigeons.
I say keep it up Musk.
lambo1 15 October 2015

they wouldnt do anything...

these manufacturers would not do anything if legislation had not forced them to.
The difference between these Johnny come latelys is that they really want to keep the status quo because that's their course of least resistance. None of them have an altruistic bone in their corperate bodies
The problem for them is that Elon Musk came along with true ideology with thinking that is totally outside the box and really put a cat amongst the so called pigeons.
I say keep it up Musk.

Find an Autocar car review