Volvo Underestimates Demand For PHEV XC90 By A Factor Of Five


Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine

Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine

Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine

Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine

Plug-in hybrid SUVS are hugely popular.

Mitsubishi was first to prove that with its Outlander PHEV and now Volvo is finding out the hard way.

Volvo’s XC90 PHEV has been so popular in the UK that it’s now sold out “until well into 2016,” according to Auto Express.

The problem is that Volvo predicted that take rate of the plug-in version of the SUV to be 5% or less, according to UK managing director Nick Connor:

“We were planning on a three-five per cent take rate of this model.”

But the current take rate exceeds 20%:

“But our current rate on sold orders is over 20 per cent. We underestimated it.”

Which means that Volvo, like Mitsubishi early on with the Outlander PHEV, is now playing a game of production catch up.

Volvo is so thrilled by the response to the XC90 PHEV that it has now committed to doing a PHEV version of every Volvo launched from here on out.

The XC90 T8 Twin Engine extended range SUV will be priced from $68,100 in the US when arrives (details) this summer for test drives and orders – with deliveries scheduled for the fall.  The plug-in Volvo also qualifies for a further $4,600 in federal credit incentives in the US.  Hopefully there will be some available to buy.

Source: Auto Express

Categories: Volvo


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35 Comments on "Volvo Underestimates Demand For PHEV XC90 By A Factor Of Five"

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Every model? Thats good news ish

Volkswagen, Audi and BMW also promised the same. Every new model will have a PHEV version.

Plugless hybrids are doomed. If Toyota wants to stay in the game with hybrids they should at least put a plug in every and each model.

PHEV will be the plan of many automakers, until the 2016 LG batteries that will double the range for EVs arrive. Then many BEV models will be announced and stop being a minority compared to PHEV.

Maybe Toyota will do a HFC version of every model. That should bankrupt it before the end of the decade;).

Good one!
That gave me a laugh for the day.

Laughing and clapping 🙂

Or must we say that should Kodak them before the end of the decade. 🙂

BEVs will be selling less than PHEVs for another decade or so at least.

It takes time to develope decide and develop models even if batteries were free.

That is especially true when everything is made to take as long as possible.
At least if BEV can’t be now, we could sure already have add i3 like systems in every car since at least 1990.

The 20% take rate is great news indeed.

I am curious how much of that is novelty and how much will be sustained.

And I am curious what this car is like in real life, just like I wonder about Outlander PHEV.

With all the Mitsubishi PHEVs sold, I am surprised at the lack of real life data, compared to say Volt or Leaf owners, who seem to be frequently blogging about their car and experiences.

Am picking my Outlander PHEV up early next week (should have been tomorrow but thanks to customs…) will give some updates on a regular basis on here about performance etc.

Great, I hope you enjoy the Outlander!

Please submit an owner review to InsideEVs 🙂

There’s a lot of data on the actual use…. but in Dutch mostly, as there’s 20-25k or more driving here in an area the size of greater NY. To conclude… they are fine cars, but the combination with the oldfashioned ICE isn’t the best choice. But for Dutch tax reasons, it is a great buy. More or less like the Volvo V60 D6 (which I prefer)

Thanks, could you please explain “but the combination with the oldfashioned ICE isn’t the best choice”?

I will admit I am surprised. I thought that Volvo’s offering would disappoint due to price, poor AER, and competition

My guess is that the ridiculously delayed Outlander and Tesla X helped Volvo a ton by reducing the options for an AWD SUV PHEV/EV.

That said, I’ve been screaming for years that Americans want AWD, Not RWD…. And they want SUV/CUV not micro cars and tiny hatchback.

A lesson for GM especially. A Voltec AWD Equinox would have sold like hot cakes. I guarantee it would have sold more than the Cadillac, and probably more than a Volt

Yes, agree 100%!!

I want my volt-like awd SUV/CUV!!

I suspect GM (and others) are waiting for battery prices to come down a bit more. I would bet a Voltec SUV is on the horizon within the next 5 years.

– We started with the Volt/ELR, small EREVs.
– Now we’re talking about the larger CT6 and Mailbu PHEV’s using similar tech and lowering prices.
– Next vehicle class would seem to be the CUV/SUV class.

Clarkson, I have no doubt that GM has a Voltec CUV in the works. I just find it unfathomable that GM has this technology that every user loves (the Volt) with the only major drawbacks being maybe price and the size of the Volt. And then they look around and see that AWD CUVs sell like hotcakes in the US market, that Mitsubishi can’t keep up with demand for its AWD CUV EV, and that there is not one reasonably priced AWD CUV on the US market… and they decide to make a Cadillac sedan EV. Huh? But the grand prize goes to Mitsubishi, who has a huge seller on their hands and a chance to actually become something in the US market with a 3+ year lead on all other competitors… and they decide to not sell it here. I get that they want to focus on England where the Outlander PHEV hits an incentive sweet spot. But It’d be like Apple deciding to not sell the next hot cell phone to Californians Luckily for Mitsubishi, I guess no other OEM has any idea that a reasonably priced CUV EV could sell well in the US since none have… Read more »

on a side note,
my post should read as sarcastic vs the OEMs, not towards you!
difficult to get tone/sarcasm right by typing.


It’s surprising to me that Europe would have such high demand of these SUVs. I always understood them to be a small vehicle kind of consumer.

If the take-rate is so high in Europe, I wonder what it could be in the US? “The world may never know”

I think its kinda like they were kept in the dark for so many years about SUVs that now they can get them. It`s like a bull in a china shop running to buy them.

Isn’t the XC90 coming to U.S. in Fall of 2015?

The g/km CO2 targets and incentives are really making these good buys in some EU markets like the UK and Holland

The European market is not a uniform market. Customer´s demand is different in Portugal from customer’s demand in the UK. The more you come to the middle of Europe the bigger become the cars. Fiscal matters also play a major role. In countries like Germany, UK and Luxembourg a.o. new midsize or fullsize cars or SUVs are mostly company cars offered as incentive for their employees which is fiscally attractive for the company. In Scandinavia bigger ICE cars are subject to a luxury tax. At least in Norway EVs are tax exempt which is one of the many reasons why the Tesla S is so successful there.

I think the language of the press release is confusing. The actual total demand for the XC90 isn’t necessarily more than expected… These are ~$70K cars after all, and the demand could easily be just 100 cars per quarter.
What’s different is that instead of 3-5 of the 100 being the PHEVs model, it’s 20. In absolute vehicle numbers, that’s still tiny, and at such small volumes, you really can’t make statistical conclusions.

XC 90 has more than 24K orders.

Orders immediately after a new model is announced don’t mean much… Could be pent-demand.
What’s the steady-state orders/month after a year? Or jsut the expected sales/year?

The ICE version starts @ $50K in the US.

A 9.2 kWh battery pack, for a car much bigger than the Volt, which for the current model has 17.1 kWh.


When, oh when, will we start seeing PHEVs with better electric range?

…or at least the option of a various pack sizes? Then I’m sure the manufacturers would be “surprised by the extremely high take rate of the larger pack”. Sigh. Hopefully some day they’ll get it.

Volvo XC90 has more than 24000 pre-orders. That’s nearly 25% of their annual 107K sales. I don’t think they need more demand that this. BTW, this is their top-of-th-eline model.

That mean 75% of their brand new SUV being sold in 2015 are going to be gas guzzlers. And they are going to gasguzzel until 2025 possibly 2035.

Plus, the 200000 miles those gas-guzzels are going to travel represents 8000 gallons which is 200 barrel net and 300 barrels gross. At 60$ a barrel that is 18000 $ going to the Arabs. From that amount 20% end up being used in salafism related activities. So when you buy such a gas-guzzler you literally give 3600 $ to salafism and at least 2000 $ are directly linked to active terrorism. To fight those 2000 $ of terrorism we must inject 20000 $ of military spending, counter terrorism and the like. So you end up buying the car paying 18000 $ direct and 20000 $ indirect and getting the terrorist action anyway. Those have to be healed or remediated, if we can because loss of life or archeological saccage can’t. That is another 5000 $ of extra cost. In the end your gas-guzzler result in 60000$ for the car 18000+20000+5000=43000$ for the rest plus terrorism and salafism spread and means being used in places while they could be used in other places. That is a big toll of 103000$ to pay to gasguzzle. Way more than buying a Tesla at 70000 $ with nothing attached to it but positive technology… Read more »

It is another lame pretext to delay plug ins another year, like the Outlander, like the Volt 1 not selling any,ore because of the over announcement of V. 2

There is a positive trend that any car without a cord start being seen as outdated. A bit like using a mechanical type machine after the arrival of electric type machines and even more so after the start of computers.

Sold out into 2016? I was expecting a claim like that, which is nothing to boast about. Waiting lists testify to poor supply, not high damand, and have a habit of vanishing when would-be buyers hear of them and respond by striking the car off their list.

Volvo also need to confirm the 8 year hybrid/battery warranty. They may be tempted to skimp on that in some markets.