Volvo’s Future Electric Plans: 3-Cylinder PHEV In 2018, All-Electric Offerings With 100 kWh Battery In 2019

1 week ago by Mark Kane 29

Volvo T5 Twin Engine on CMA and T8 Twin Engine AWD on SPA

Volvo’s current electrification plan includes both a new plug-in hybrid, and also new all-electric models (yes, plural), that will be introduced from 2018 and 2019 respectively.

Volvo Concept 40.2 profile

According to latest news on the all-electric offerings, Volvo battery pack sizes up to a fairly massive 100 kWh in mind, paired with a comparably sizable electric motor – offering power outputs of up to 450 kW.

The company’s charging plans take into account up to about ~20 kW AC charging (on-board) for home/L2 applications, and also DC charging for higher power – in both standards (CCS and CHAdeMO), which we assume will be offered in the type most popular for the region to new all-electric vehicle will be sold in.

“To enable the cost-effective production of a range of BEVs meeting different requirements, Volvo is developing the Modular Electrification Platform (MEP)—a set of modular building blocks for electrification than will allow Volvo to deliver vehicles ranging between 100 – 450 kW of propulsive power, with battery packs of up to 100 kWh in size.”

Volvo currently offers only plug-in hybrids. Currently, the major product is XC90 T8 Twin Engine based on the Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) for 90 series cars.

However, the second platform is Compact Modular Architecture (CMA)announced in 2016 – for smaller cars.

Starting in 2018, new plug-in hybrids (T5 Twin Engine, FWD) are to be equipped with a new 3-cylinder petrol engine and a new 7-speed dual clutch transmissionm coupled to an 55 kW electric motor, powered from a 9.7 kWh battery – which will offer an estimated 50 km (31 miles) of range.  We of course take this estimate to reflect European/NEDC standards, meaning the new plug-in hybrids will more likely be achieving a real world (EPA) range of maybe 40 km (25 miles).

source: Green Car Congress

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32 responses to "Volvo’s Future Electric Plans: 3-Cylinder PHEV In 2018, All-Electric Offerings With 100 kWh Battery In 2019"

  1. pjwood1 says:

    “9.7KWh”. Maybe in 2020, Volvo will break through the 10KWh glass ceiling.

    1. trackdaze says:

      Agree 10kwhr should now be seen as a bare minimum. 12kwhr+ probably better. The electric motor seems a bit light too suggesting the ice chimes in all to often.

      3cyl are just about right for a phev were you can still extract good horsepower but weight is kept down.

      1. speculawyer says:

        16KWH should be bare minimum for the USA. Anything lower and you are leaving free money on the table. (The tax-credit)

        1. That would be either 16 kWh or 16.5kWh in Ontario, Canada, to get the maximum, Battery Defined Rebate, as well. So that means that would be the Glass Floor!

          10.0 kWh would be more like a Paper Ceiling! (Wet!)

          1. ijonjack says:

            Resembles an 0ld Dodge Avenger from that view…

    2. Chris O says:

      Aw common, who needs 640K?

      1. Wasn’t the phrase: “No one will need more than 640 kB!” (Bill Gates, when designing the RAM limitations for DOS 1.0)

        1. wavelet says:

          Gates denies ever saying that.
          As someone who was around when personal computers got started (long before the IBM PC), I believe him.

          However, engineering-wise, it has to be remembered that the Intel 8088 processor could only address 1MB of memory, and that includes firmware & space needed for displays, I/O devices etc, so 640MB was a pretty reasonable limit for single-user sytem without preemptive multitasking or memory protection in hardware. Allowing more would have required a complex memory-paging scheme that would have been both slower and a bit more expensive .

  2. Just_Chris says:

    I don’t see why you can’t offer both DCFC charging standards on the same car. Is there something I’m missing?

    The communication protocol is different so you’d need to have the car capable of speaking 2 languages but that isn’t a massive problem and the CCS could also double as the AC charge point so there isn’t much of a physical space problem either. Voltages and currents are not dissimilar enough to worry about.

    If you can have a dual standard charging station I don’t understand why you cant have a dual charging car.

    1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      It adds cost and some complexity to have two DC ports and the associated cabling.

    2. Someone out there says:

      I think it has more to do with licensing than a technical issue. Car companies simply don’t want to pay the license fee for both technologies.

  3. Dave86 says:

    If you believe battery costs will fall below $100/kWh by 2020, then PHEV starts to become an obsolete technology.

    1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      PHEV could still be appropriate for large or very small vehicles where the density and charging limitations of batteries would limit use.

      For smaller vehicles we might see more EREVs with a serial design.

  4. Kdawg says:

    3 cylinder engine…
    Careful. Don’t end up w/the same issues the BMW i3 has w/its small motorcycle engine.

    1. Denis says:

      i3 with its small 650cc(?) engine is perfectly adequate for highway driving in REX mode, you do not need too much instant power to push through the air. The problem is in tank capacity which is designed for ZEV legislation. BMW could have designed an “aftermarket” solution to get a roomier tank. That would make i3 the longest range PHEV to buy instead of the Volt/Ampera.

      1. Taser54 says:

        Nope. It’s a severe compromise that is unsatisfactory.

        1. Bill Howland says:

          The original Volt was tentatively going to have a 1000 cc, 3 cyl turbo engine, until a labor dispute in Austria convinced GM (and Bob Lutz) to use an existing perfectly serviceable 1400 cc 4 cyl engine made at a plant there to keep otherwise upset workers working.

          My ELR also has this engine, and although one might consider it wimpy, the car’s fantastic performance (per Car and Driver Magazine) is due to the charge always remaining in the battery, plus the large drive motor – the engine refills the battery later.

          Should GM have decided to go the other way, and provided the 1000 cc turbo – I don’t think the Volt’s zippy performance (or the ELR’s) would have been seriously compromised.

        2. realistic says:

          The i3 REX version in its CARB US is indeed weak, but in its Rest-of-World form it’s fine. The problem for the US is that CARB insisted that the engine can’t be used until the battery is depleted.

          In the ROW form, the intent is for the car to be battery-propelled primarily in the urban environment, conserving the charge in expressway/high-speed travel by using the ICE in a series hybrid strategy (similar to running your Volt in the Hold mode). In that use pattern the i3 is a very nice little car with very good performance — no compromise at all for a car of its size and intended use, and ultimately a very light user of gasoline.

    2. Rob Stark says:

      The BMW i3 has a two-cylinder 647cc engine.

      The Volvo Rex is a 1.5 litre. Same size as the 2017 Chevy Volt despite being one cylinder short.

      1. Kdawg says:

        Good to know. Hopefully it can put out the same power and isn’t loud. GM went bigger on the Gen2 Volt.

    3. trackdaze says:

      Closer to the 230hp 3cyl 1.5litre of the i8 rather than the <90hp of the 650cc twin of the i3.

  5. Michael Roberts says:

    Volvo electrics are shocking… would never buy an EV of them after the types of faults I’ve had with the electrics on their ICE cars.

  6. Devin Serpa says:

    2019? Kinda late to the game.

    1. Yes sir says:

      Yes I’m hoping for 2017 or 2018

      1. Brandon says:

        If it’s meant that it’s a 2019 model year, then that’s just 24 months away from being on the market. Battery prices are still free falling, so by then it’s an ideal time as far as costs are concerned. Also, with vehicles it takes time to develop them.

    2. Mikael says:

      Not really, the game has barely begun yet.

      2018 will be a fun year, but 2019/20 is when it will boom for real. 🙂

  7. arnis says:

    I’m happy to see that there is an untold gentleman agreement of 100kWh limit for passenger vehicles. Something similar like german car manufacturers agreed not to go above 250kmh 155mph on normal and sporty vehicles.

    Elon kinda promised not to go above 100kWh for now on regular vehicles and deal with bigger hassles rather than push more and more and not deal with charging problems.

    1. Mikael says:

      There is no such agreement. Tesla can’t go further without changing the platform or increasing the capacity of the battery.

      When they can, then they will also offer 100+ batteries. Few cars will go over 150 though.

      1. arnis says:

        Think about it. Competitors usually make a slightly better car if somebody is already on the market. So Volvo should have just promised 105 or 110kWh. But they did not. The don’t use Tesla’s packs. They can change dimensions and stuff right now. If they promised 110kWh pack then it would be “another Tesla killer”. Would give them at least some fame. But they chose to be more reasonable.

        There is no agreement on paper, of that I’m sure.

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