Volvo announces widespread electrification

Company to equip all models with motors for various forms of assist

Published: July 5, 2017, 10:30 PM
Updated: July 11, 2017, 6:34 AM

Volvo mild hybrid cutaway

Volvo has announced in a release that it was going all electric across its model lineup, that all its models would have an electric motor and that the days of cars having only an internal combustion engine are over.

Volvo EV cutaway

“This is about the customer,” said Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo Cars president and chief executive. “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.”

While many took that to mean that the Chinese-owned Swedish automaker would only be selling electric cars beyond 2019, what it actually means is that Volvo’s models will have some kind of electrical assist for their internal combustion engines (either as plug-in hybrids using gasoline or diesel engines, or mild hybrid models that generate electricity onboard), though the company will also market dedicated electric models.

In fact, the company is planning five new fully electric models between 2019 and 2021, two of which will wear the Polestar badge of Volvo’s newly announced performance division, which was announced earlier this year as a separate entity headed by Thomas Ingenlath, Volvo’s Senior Vice President of design, and marketing electrified high-performance cars.

Volvo PHEV cutaway

The other three dedicated electric vehicles will wear Volvo badges, though details on any of the five vehicles are still a long way off.

Still the announcement of electrification across the board gives Volvo one of the most extensive electrified vehicle lineup of any manufacturer.

“This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car,” said Samuelsson. “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.”

As part of its sustainability plans, Volvo Cars also announced plans to have climate neutral manufacturing operations by 2025.