Volvo has released a plan to electrify its entire range, complete with a fully electric vehicle for 2019.
Its new “global electrification strategy” expands on the brand’s alternatively-fueled options – which currently stands at one vehicle – and will include new plug-in versions of its sedans, SUVs and wagons. A battery electric vehicle (BEV) is also in development for 2019.
The company said it based this aggressive strategy on the growing demand for plug-ins and BEVs, which created a healthy sales segment.
“We believe that the time has come for electrified cars to cease being a niche technology and enter the mainstream,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President and CEO of Volvo Cars. “We are confident that in two years’ time, 10 percent of Volvo’s global sales will be electrified cars.”
This fall, a plug-in version of the Volvo XC90 went on sale in the U.S. as a fuel-sipping SUV capable of seating seven people (though it should be noted that the EPA hasn’t posted fuel economy yet, and Volvo estimate of 2.1 liters/100 kilometers uses less-stringent European methods to measure). The XC90 delivers an all-electric range of about 27 miles using its 407 combined horsepower setup, and has a starting price of $69,000.
“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 percent of the time, meaning our plug-in hybrids already offer a real alternative to conventional powertrain systems.”
Plug-in hybrid sedans will be next, said Volvo, with variations planned for its 60 series and upcoming 90 series. These will be followed by PHEVs of Volvo’s all-new, smaller 40 series.
Volvo stated that its BEV – scheduled to reach markets by 2019 – will be a car, but didn’t elaborate further on what it may look like. If this arrives as a sedan, Volvo’s pricing will likely slot its BEV to compete with the Tesla Model S, not the cheaper upcoming Model 3.