Volvo Unveils Global Electrification Strategy

OCT 16 2015 BY MARK KANE 28

The all-new Volvo XC90 Twin Engine is a plug-in electric car, hybrid car and high-performance car rolled into one. A two-litre, four-cylinder supercharged and turbocharged Drive-E petrol engine powers the front wheels and an 80 hp (60 kW) electric motor drives the rear wheels. The battery pack is located in the centre of the vehicle.

The all-new Volvo XC90 Twin Engine is a plug-in electric car, hybrid car and high-performance car rolled into one. A two-litre, four-cylinder supercharged and turbocharged Drive-E petrol engine powers the front wheels and an 80 hp (60 kW) electric motor drives the rear wheels. The battery pack is located in the centre of the vehicle.

It seems like having large corporate-wide plans for electric vehicle technology is the thing to do lately.

Shortly thereafter Volkswagen stated its new direction to plug-ins, Volvo has just revealed a new global electrification strategy itself, which presupposes electrification across its entire range.

As part of that strategy, there will be more plug-in hybrids, new architectures and the first series production all-electric model (aside from the early C30 pilot project a few years ago).

Medium term goal is to achieve up to 10% of total car sales for electrified vehicles

The all-electric car is scheduled to go on sale by 2019.

As for today, Volvo offers the V60 D6 Twin Engine in Europe and is introducing Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine globally (arriving to customers this month in the US). There was also a separate project for China with the Volvo S60L T6 Twin Engine.

New plug-in hybrids (based on the Scalable Product Architecture from T8 Twin Engine):

  • 90 series
  • 60 series
The all-new Volvo XC90 Twin Engine features a crankshaft driven Integrated Starter Generator (ISG) between the high-performance petrol engine and the 8-speed automatic gearbox.

The all-new Volvo XC90 Twin Engine features a crankshaft driven Integrated Starter Generator (ISG) between the high-performance petrol engine and the 8-speed automatic gearbox.

Volvo: T8 Twin Engine Lithium-ion battery

Volvo: T8 Twin Engine Lithium-ion battery

There will also be new front-wheel drive Twin Engine plug-in hybrids based on the newly-developed Compact Modular Architecture (CMA):

  • 40 series
Volvo: T5 Twin Engine on CMA

Volvo: T5 Twin Engine on CMA

Volvo: T5 Twin Engine Lithium-ion battery - exposed interior view

Volvo: T5 Twin Engine Lithium-ion battery – exposed interior view

Volvo: T5 Twin Engine Lithium-ion battery

Volvo: T5 Twin Engine Lithium-ion battery

“The first element of the new electrification strategy involves the introduction of plug-in hybrid versions of its 90 series and 60 series larger cars, based on the company’s new Scalable Product Architecture. This process has already begun with the launch of the T8 Twin Engine All-Wheel Drive plug-in hybrid version of its new XC90 SUV and will continue with plug-in hybrid versions of the new S90 premium sedan and other forthcoming models.

Volvo Cars will also broaden the range of plug-in hybrid cars it offers with the introduction of a new front-wheel drive Twin Engine variant.

The Swedish car maker will further deepen its product offering with the introduction of an entirely new range of smaller 40 series cars based on its newly-developed Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), which, like SPA, has been designed from the outset for electrification. This makes Volvo Car Group one of very few car makers in the world with two brand new vehicle architectures designed to support both plug-in and pure electric powertrain configurations.

Lastly, Volvo Cars has confirmed that it will build an all-electric car for sale by 2019. Further details of this planned model will be released at a later date.”

Volvo Cars Twin Engine range

Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine

Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine

Håkan Samuelsson, President and CEO of Volvo Cars, commented:

“We believe that the time has come for electrified cars to cease being a niche technology and enter the mainstream. We are confident that by 2020, 10 per cent of Volvo’s global sales will be electrified cars.”

Dr Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President for Research and Development said:

“We have learned a lot about how people use cars with electrification thanks to our current product offer. Our research has shown that people are driving our Twin Engine cars in electric mode around 50 per cent of the time, meaning our plug-in hybrids already offer a real alternative to conventional powertrain systems.”

“With around 40 years of experience in the field of electrification, Volvo Cars has learned a lot about battery management along the way, delivering the best range per kilowatt hour in the industry. We have come to a point where the cost versus benefit calculation for electrification is now almost positive. Battery technology has improved, costs are going down, and public acceptance of electrification is no longer a question.”

Categories: Volvo


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28 Comments on "Volvo Unveils Global Electrification Strategy"

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Volvo is a lot like VW, in that they talk alot about EVs, then don’t build them. 😛

VW is already the number one PEV manufacturer in a number of key EU markets, according to recent monthly sales numbers.


The problem with VW is not that they don’t do EVs, but that they’ve been addicted to a diesel-dominated lineup to the point of cheating to sustain it.

On EVs, they’ve jumped very quickly from almost nothing 2 years ago, to being one of the world leaders right now. Their gig is electrifying known and popular models, most prominently the Golf which is available now both as a BEV and a PHEV.

By comparison, Volvo’s promise to bring their first BEV to market in 2019 is laughable. By that time Gen 2 Leaf will have already gone through one improvement cycle, and even the perennially-behind-schedule Tesla might already bring Model 3’s to the market in large quantities.

Volkswagen is a capitalist enterprise; in other words, they’re in it to make money. if Volkswagen seems “addicted to diesel” relative to *EVs it is because they have greater sales volume in diesel engines. if the audi a3 e-tron somehow becomes their #1 seller overnight, then Volkswagen will become “addicted to *EVs”; but at present there just isn’t the customer demand from the general public and there aren’t enough EV enthusiasts to make up a significant market segment.

Right, Volkswagen is a capitalist enterprise, and “they’re in it to make money” to the extent that they are willing to program their cars to evade pollution tests, just as Exxon was willing to keep its own climate research in the 70s from the public and spent millions of dollars denying its own climate findings in order to avoid the risk that the public would demand cleaner energy solutions than the burning of fossil fuels, all to maintain its market share and its profits.

There are no truer examples of corporate behavior and the nature of our economy than these.

that’s why corporations have to be regulated – by the *government*; you can’t rely on the (not really) “free” enterprise system.

The Model 3 and Bolt are beginning to sound scary to other car manufacturers. Boo!


The Bolt is hardly scaring anyone considering that the plan is to produce it in very limited numbers.

30,000 a year is hardly very limited. That would be enough to make it the top selling PEV in the US.

As I said, very limited. The yearly PEV market is at about 400k and will be closer to 700k before the Bolt has even started to sell.

Those 30k will be about 4% of a 1% market. Who would they scare?

GM is going to view Bolt production within the context of their overall production schedule. is 30,000 vehicles enough to fill up an assembly plant? i kind of doubt it. so from the GM perspective, 30,000 cars in a year is a limited deployment.

This quote seems very low, only 10%
“Medium term goal is to achieve up to 10% of total car sales for electrified vehicles”

If 10% of new car sales were plug-in EVs, that would be ten times better than the market today.

The downside is that Volvo is describing that as a “medium term goal”, rather than a short-term goal. I keep hoping that the EV revolution will shift into higher gear, and go into exponential growth, the mark of all disruptive tech revolutions.

Sadly, the EV revolution is a much slower-growing revolution than most (or all?) recent tech revolutions. That may be inevitable, given the high cost of retooling in auto manufacturing, but that doesn’t stop me from hoping it will speed up!

How does EV adoption compare to gas car adoption from horse / buggy? That’s essentially what it is. One problem facing EV is government’s unwilling (or plain stupid) to make Smart EV highway. Meanwhile, they dump billions into crap like slow speed trains.

I came in here to say that 10% is a huge and optimistic percentage (-: .
Recall that currently they’re barely selling any (the odd V60 diesel PHEV, and the just-started XC90 T8). From that to 10% in 10 years, from a company with lots of repeat customers and very long-lived products, is noteworthy and impressive if it’ll happen.

Even more noteworthy is that the 10% is both a stated goal _and_ a 5-year prediction; it’s the first of either I’ve seen from any established manufacturer.

In 2013 2% on their sales were EVs. 20% of the orders of the new XC90 have been the EV version.

10% of total sales seems pessimistic to me. Or at least catious, to be able to under promise and over deliver.

Remember that in 2017/18 all their models will be available in at least one EV version and that one of their main markets (Sweden) most likely will have pretty massive EV incentives by then.

That battery configuration looks a lot like the Volt’s. (minus the T shape)

That means the same seating problems with only four seats or at best four and a half.

Nope. No seating problems. The poor GM engineers really screwed up their design.

It looks to be less kWh than the Volt, so might not be an issue. There may be something in the way of the back-middle feet though.

It is less kWh, about ~12 kWh. And if you want to check out the space you could do it on the new XC90 that is on the new EV prepared platform that all the Volvo EVs will be on (except the 40-series that will be on a separate new smaller platform, but also EV-ready)

I recently posted that I thought VW’s announcement about future plans emphasizing EVs being the best news, for us EV enthusiasts, which has ever been posted to InsideEVs. However, I got a lot of push-back on that, from several people who responded.

Now, this latest announcement underscores part of why I think VW’s announcement was so important. Because if one major gasmobile maker announces a turn toward EVs — even if it’s only a half-hearted turn — then that will encourage other large gasmobile makers to follow suit.

And it looks like that’s exactly what’s happening. So I’m glad to be a glass-half-full kinda guy regarding VW’s announcement! 🙂

So, Tesla’s Goal: “To accellerate the development, production, and implementation, of sustainable transportation (via Electric Vehicles)”, seems to have started tp get some more traction this week!

Just wondering who will make the first BEV that delivers 100+ miles range for $10,000; the first BEV that delivers 200+ miles range for $20,000; and accordingly – 300+ miles range for $30,000??

Could such vehicles and prices first come from America? Europe? China? India? Or from South America or Africa? (South Africa?)

Yhe question is, what is the right price/value to replace 2nd cars for yhose with 2 cars, and what price/range value for 1st car and only car replacement? For the masses?

(I know that for many , Tesla has already done the 1st car replacement for those with better cash and cash flow situations, but for those not quite at that level, is my point.)

I was going to flippantly say “do 2-wheelers count?” and point to 100mi-range motorcycle/scooters…
So I started looking for some examples, and couldn’t find a single example of a commercially sold e-bicycle or e-motorcycle that claims do 100mi for under $10K. Closest I could find (and I’m talking either highway speeds or a mix of city/hwy) is this:
Zero S/DS ZF13
at ~$14K.

100 miles for $10k has already been done in China.
And it’s probably a pretty safe bet that 200 miles for $20k will come from there too.

300 miles for 30k will be interesting though. It might be the Leaf 3.0. The future will tell but I think that one will be non-chinese.

“100 miles for $10k has already been done in China.”
Can you give a link on this (and I mean 100mi equivalent to the EPA combined test, or a similar informal test)? I haven’t been able to find any in English.
It would take ~30kWh to do this, even with an efficient motor and a reasonably light car, and I suspect such Lithium-chemistry batteries aren’t cheap enough yet (and would be too heavy if lead-acid).

Geely EK-2, 180 km on the NEDC so about 80 miles EPA. Okey, we will have to wait a bit longer for the EPA 100 mile. 🙂

Do not know about the 10/20/30 scale at $150/kWh to be realized soon, it may be more like
100 miles for $20,000
200 miles for $24,000
300 miles for $28,000