Volvo Navigates Toward An Electrifying Future
Volvo, the Scandinavian carmaker announced their commitment to gradually phase out internal combustion engines from their line-up.
Volvo CEO, Hakan Samuelsson said “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 1 million electrified cars by 2025. When we said it we meant it. This is how we are going to do it.”
He said the company was responding to customers who had asked for electric cars, though the move will also aid the Swedish firm meet legally-binding carbon targets for new cars sold in the EU from 2020.
This announcement shows how quickly the market is shifting as Volvo prepares to replace petrol and diesel-only models with a mix of full-electric, plug-in hybrid and 48-volt mild hybrid variants starting in two years.
Volvo R&D Head Henrik Green said during a press conference that it would take until between 2023 to 2025 for the automaker to phase out all models that are only powered by a combustion engine.
The pricing of those models suggests drivers will pay a premium for future Volvo cars – the basic plug-in hybrid version of its XC90 SUV crossover costs £61,650 (AED 292,908) £13,250 (AED 63,000) more than the basic diesel edition.
Volvo said the first of its electric cars will be built in China, but others would be made in Europe and the US. The company said it had not yet decided on a battery supplier.
The VW emissions scandal gave added impetus for companies to focus on the technology, as politicians and campaigners increasingly blamed diesel for cities’ air quality problems
Asked if the announcement showed diesel was dead, Samuelsson said: “Long-term, diesel will get more and more expensive, because it requires some after-treatment.” Volvo said in May it was considering ceasing development on next-generation diesel engines. In addition, a number of European cities are considering banning diesels from city centers. During the first quarter, more than 80 percent of Volvo’s sales were models powered by a diesel, according to data from JATO Dynamics.
Volvo beat its bigger German premium rivals to market in Europe with plug-in hybrids, starting in 2012 with the launch of the V60 variant.
Note: The number of electric cars on the road globally hit 2 million in 2016.