Volvo Enhancing Electrified Drivetrains In Next Wave Of Green Car Offerings

Volvo is beefing up its green car offerings by rolling out a three-cylinder engine plug-in hybrid, its first production battery electric vehicle, and a new 48-volt micro hybrid in 2019.

Mats Anderson, senior director of electric propulsion systems, outlined the product plan as a speaker during the SAE 2017 Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Technologies Symposium in San Diego.

One of the innovations will be adding a new twin engine front-wheel drive platform with a three-cylinder engine for the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle system, as an alternative to the four-cylinder engine. Anderson said it will match the performance of four- and six-cylinder engine competitive vehicles.

This new three-cylinder PHEV will feature a 9.7-kilowatt hour lithium ion battery in the tunnel, an electric air conditioning compressor, a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, and a 55-kW electric motor. Estimated battery-only range in the PHEV will be about 31 miles, he said.

By 2019, the company also expects to roll out its first production-level battery electric vehicles. Volvo will be tapping into the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) and Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) architectures introduced last year, and FWD and all-wheel drive variants are being considered.

Those methods will go into a new platform for its electrified vehicle offerings, called Modular Electrification Platform (MEP). Anderson said that the automaker is using the concept to analyze electrified vehicle offerings in the 100 to 450 kW range of propulsion power, with battery packs up to 100 kWh. One reason MEP has been added to enable cost-effective production of a range of BEV offerings, he said.

Volvo is taking a global approach to charging its BEVs. The company will support AC charging up to 20 kW and support for both combined charging system (CCS) and CHAdeMO fast charging.

SEE ALSO:  Volvo Says its T5 Plug-in Hybrid Powertrain Offers an Alternative To Diesel Vehicles

During 2019, the company will be introducing a 48-volt system for gasoline or diesel engines. It will start with a 10 kW motor generation, later going up to about 15 kW in the second-generation system. A 0.25 kWh 48V Li-ion battery will supply energy storage, along with a separate 12V absorbed glass mat (AGM) battery.

Several automakers are exploring 48V systems as a second voltage source to address new challenges and demands being made in vehicles beyond electrification – especially new electronic systems being added to cars.

Volvo cars has taken on the ambitious goal of placing one million electrified Volvos on roads by 2025. The Swedish automaker is preparing to potentially phase out its diesel vehicles in the regulation-intensive European market, and other global markets with emissions mandates.

“We are committed [to electrification]. There is no way back,” Anderson said.

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