Every new Volvo launched from 2019 will have some kind of electric motor in the drivetrain, the company has announced. Every single car that leaves the factory will be at the very least a mild hybrid, making the Gothenburg-based safety merchant the first major car maker to commit to such a strategy.
We probably should have been expecting this, seeing as Volvo’s new performance sibling Polestar is going down the same route. The Geely-owned firms are doing their best to lead the way when it comes to wholesale adoption of electrification, now that so many people have proved that it works.
There will be three stages of Volvo’s electric dream. The first will be mild hybrids, where a 48-volt electrical system similar to that seen on the new Audi A8 will cut the engine wherever possible, like when the car is slowing down or stops. A motor will then restart the pistons quickly and smoothly when needed.
Volvo will skip closed hybrids altogether, so there’s no plan to do things the way the Prius does; i.e. having self-generated electric power always on tap for short bursts. Instead, the Swedes are going straight for plug-in hybrids with greater fully-electric driving range thanks to bigger, heavier batteries. Volvo already launched the first V60 plug-in diesel-electric hybrid back in 2012.
The third and most extreme grade of electrification is to go completely sans combustion, and Volvo already has plans for five fully-electric cars between 2019 and 2021; three in the Volvo brand and two high-performance ones badged as Polestars. A range of petrol-electric and diesel-electric hybrids will join the ice-cap-friendly party.
Hakan Samuelsson, President and Chief Executive of Volvo Cars, said:
“This is about the customer. People increasingly demand electrified cars, and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs. You can now pick and choose whichever electrified Volvo you wish.
“This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car. Volvo Cars has stated that it plans to have sold a total of one million electrified cars by 2025. When we said it, we meant it. This is how we are going to do it.”