Volvo Boss Says Automaker Will Focus On One Main Energy Source In Future…Electrification

7 months ago by Mark Kane 15

Volvo Concept 40.1 rear three-quarters

Volvo Cars’s CEO Hakan Samuelsson is convinced that the future of automotive industry is electrification.

In very interesting interview, Samuelsson said that there is no way for diesel engines to remain a competitive consumer powertrain with the tightening emissions legislation environment (CO2 and especially to match NOx requirements).

Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine with Polestar Performance Optimisation

In other words, the only options for the future are conventional gasoline cars with progressive hybridization (gasoline and diesel), and more plug-ins (PHEVs and BEVs).

“Looking further down the line, at under 95, diesel will not be able to help us. Only electrification can,”

“The combustion engine will more and more be combined with hybridization, whether that be diesel or petrol. Of course, improving the efficiency of the combustion engine is more or less done, so the next step has to be hybridization and pure-electric cars.”

The first all-electric model from Volvo will be introduced in 2019.

“We are developing not just one model but electrification for the small platform and also for the larger platforms, and we haven’t revealed which one will be the first,”

Samuelsson also appreciates the great driving experience one can have with an all-electric powertrain. It’s so good according to the Volvo boss that consumers should be willing to buy EVs based on their performance alone – even without the need to think about the additional environment benefits.

“The driving experience with a fully electric vehicle is really very good with high acceleration (and) quiet, little or no transmission noise, so once we bring down the cost it becomes a very good proposition. People will buy it not just because of lower emissions, but because it’s good technology.”

Moreover, it’s expected that battery costs will shortly decrease to a level enabling prices to be comparable to diesel cars.

Volvo’s global premium EV charging station, developed by AeroVironment

Another note of interest was on the charging infrastructure.

Volvo EVs, like all plug-ins, will rely on the public charging infrastructure for long distance travel, yet Volvo is, as of now, not willing to provide any charging stations. The Swedish brand rather bets on 3rd parties to install and operate charging network for all EVs cumulatively.

“I think our biggest contribution to this will be our commitment. We believe in electrification and will be providing the market for somebody as a business opportunity.”

“If someone sees a credible future where electric cars are pumped out onto the market, then it’s a good business to invest in that infrastructure. I don’t see that we, as carmakers, need to invest in that infrastructure.”

Volvo’s CEO also doesn’t believe in hydrogen fuel cell cars:

“Of course, you should never say never, but right now it’s important for us to be clear. The grass is always greener on the other side and there is always something new, but battery electrification is what we believe in. With hydrogen you would require all new infrastructure once more, so I think there is a limit to what people will invest in.”

“We believe we have to focus on one main energy source and we believe that is electrification because it’s more flexible.”

“Of course, we might be wrong.”

source: WardsAuto

Tags:

15 responses to "Volvo Boss Says Automaker Will Focus On One Main Energy Source In Future…Electrification"

  1. Rich says:

    Glad to see Volvo is moving in the right direction. They need to get a working alpha with videos out there.

    “once we bring down the cost it becomes a very good proposition”
    This is an odd statement, given their previous announcement below. Sounds like they’re still trying to figure out how to bring the price down.

    http://insideevs.com/volvo-usa-ceo-says-automakers-first-ev-will-have-250-plus-miles-electric-range-price-of-40000-or-less/

    1. Mikael says:

      The price to drive down is on batteries, something Volvo can’t do but that is happening as we speak.
      But I am sure that they are expecting $100-150/kWh batteries by then and have calculated the price based on that.

  2. Hauer says:

    Since myy need is not urgent and Elon will not give me a reasonable Dashboard in my reserved Model 3 I may come back to Volvo. (Currently driving company Mercedes)

    1. Rich says:

      The Volvo Concept 40.1 looks to be a desirable vehicle. I would pause my Model 3 purchase, if Volvo can come to market at:
      $35K – $40K USD price
      250+ EPA miles of range
      Delivered across all USA States by late 2018 (MY2019)

      I’m not sure I believe the commitment, price, range, or timeline. I need to see more than lip service and a roller at a marketing show.

      1. MaartenV-nl says:

        Volvo is Chinese owned and the Chinese market is by far the most important market. Based on that, my assumptions are:
        Time to market MY2019, yes.
        EPA range 250+ miles, yes.
        Starting price ~$35k, yes.
        Available in USA, not gone happen as long as those crazy dealer laws are in place. Far too expensive.

        1. Rich says:

          “Volvo is Chinese owned”
          There’s probably a big difference between “owned by” and “built by”. If the batteries are provided by Panasonic, LG Chem, or Samsung SDI it should be OK. If these are Chinese built batteries, I’ll pass.

          1. Joe says:

            What’s this anti-China attitude? There’s a good chance your smartphone was built there. And even if the sticker on your battery says Panasonic it may still well be made in China. And BYD batteries are the market leaders in many fields.
            Stop hating on one country. Bad enough the US administration seems to. They don’t know what they’re doing long-term…

            1. Rich says:

              Joe,
              This is your baggage, not mine. Panasonic, LG Chem, and Samsung SDI have established quality records. BYD may have a good quality record or may not. I don’t know and I’m not about to spend $40K on an unknown. It’s as simple as that. You spend your money your way and I’ll spend mine my way. Good luck.

  3. J P DeCaen says:

    Looking forward to a lot of great Volvo EV’s. I don’t quite agree with the statement: “like all plug-ins, will rely on the public charging infrastructure”. Tesla is fairly independent of it and has added greatly to it.

  4. VS says:

    He means in Europe. The charging infrastructure in Europe is developing very well outside the Tesla network.
    In Norway f.ex. the public network is very much better than what Tesla’s network is.

  5. MaartenV-nl says:

    The announced planning by various large organizations is 500-1000 stations along the main highway infrastructure with ampel fast 350kW chargers by 2020.

    Payment and roaming deals for access to each others network are being made.

    Travelling from Oslo to Athens or Lisboa to Helsinki should not be a problem when Volvo launches its EVs.

  6. Dennis Kavanagh says:

    Another confused ICE manufacturer! They can’t produce great BEVs while still promoting ICE. They will just canabilise themselves.

  7. I HATE the use of the word “Electrification”, as it sounds great but has little meaning. It’s like all the “Natural” products on grocery store selves.

    Hint:
    Today 99.99% of vehicles have utalized electrification … ie: most cars could not move if it were not for a 12V battery and an electric starter.

    It’s about time that journesists started asking for specs as to what CXO’s mean by “electrification”. Are they merry adding digital dashes, or hybrid components to a drivetrain; or are they getting serious about producing and delivering vehicles utalizing electric motor drivetrains?

  8. Philip Reeve says:

    You’ve got to love the way the major manufacturers are all independently “inventing” the wonders of electric mobility. :-). With some exceptions, Very few of them will mention the fact that, were it not for Tesla, they EVs would be the last thing on their minds.

    Imagine the benefits (to car buyers) of partnering with Tesla over their Supercharger network. Notably, no one has taken up that opportunity.

  9. bogdan says:

    This guy talks like a politician: ‘we will concentrate on electrification in the future’.

    What does he mean by future: 2018, 2020, 2025, 2050, 2150, 9999?