With Volvo XC90 PHEV’s Success, Automaker Announces More Plug Ins Are Coming


Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine PHEV

Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine PHEV

The Volvo XC90 PHEV is selling at more than double the company’s projections. The T8 Twin Engine is Volvo’s first attempt at a PHEV SUV and although the demand is generally low for electric vehicles, 20% of XC90 purchasers are choosing the PHEV version. Research chief Peter Mertens explained:

Inside The Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine

Inside The Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine PHEV

“We were planning for 10% (of total XC90 sales), then we said 15%. It has jumped to 20%, and frankly we did not expect that. I don’t know how sustainable that is over time.”

Volvo is offering the plug-in option next in the S90 sedan and V90 wagon, and now looking at more plug-ins due to the success. A fully-electric model is set to be released in 2019. Mertens also said that Volvo is researching technology that would charge an electric car in about the same time as a gas tank fill up. Mertens said:

“A 10-minute charge would be an absolute breakthrough. Anything better would be too good to be true.”

Other models in the Volvo line will also get plug-in versions. Specifically, the next gen 40-series, coming out next year, will have a more simplified PHEV powertrain designed for compact vehicles. The Twin Engine set-up will pair a three-cylinder V-engine with an electric motor and a dual-clutch transmission.

Mertens wouldn’t specify which platform the 2019 BEV will initially come in, the compact or large architecture, but he assured:

“From a technical point of view, it doesn’t matter . . . eventually, it will be used on both platforms. We will offer (full) battery-electric power on all of our vehicles (within the next decade or less).”

Although electrification is a new substantial priority for Volvo, the company will continue to focus on safety, which has always been the company’s strong suit. The S90 will be the first to come with semi-autonomous driving capabilities known as Pilot Assist.

Mertens also made it clear that all of Volvo’s “traditional” models were designed with electrification and battery power in mind, so we shouldn’t expect to see some “odd-looking vehicle” newly designed for the electric market.

Source: The Detroit Bureau

Categories: Volvo

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24 Comments on "With Volvo XC90 PHEV’s Success, Automaker Announces More Plug Ins Are Coming"

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“A 10-minute charge would be an absolute breakthrough. ” Yeah, no kidding. Someone is up in the blue sky at this point. The heat dissipation becomes a major concern, which is why you don’t typically see > 50kw charging, outside of Tesla, which engineered the car and the charging system. Imagine a Ford Focus Electric undergoing 150kw charging. Here’s the feature missing, that Volvo will have to add:

Heat dissipation is only needed because of waste heat generated during faster charging. It’s only when there is a “bottleneck” of the current flow that creates significant resistance, that heating and therefore heat dissipation becomes a concern. There are two bottlenecks for the electrical current which need to be addressed: 1. The bottleneck in the charging cable, worst at the point at which the cable plugs into the car. This can be passively handled by increasing the cross-section of the cable and the surface area of the pins on the plug; or it can be actively handled by using a liquid-cooled charging cable, which reportedly is what Tesla has started doing. 2. The bottleneck in the cells in the battery pack. This is going to be the hardest to address; any other bottlenecks can be handled simply by using larger diameter cables and wires. The bottleneck inside the cells themselves is due to limited surface area of the electrodes. This problem has been dealt with in laboratory prototypes using graphene and/or carbon nanotubes attached to the surface of the electrodes, greatly increasing the surface area and therefore greatly decreasing the electrical resistance… with a corresponding decrease in waste heat generated.… Read more »

Give it 50 mile range and I’m in. Good looking SUV. No goofy doors or windshield.

The previous version looked much better.
This is pretty ugly.

The previous version looked beautiful, this is so 2010!

“The T8 Twin Engine is Volvo’s first attempt at a PHEV” – ehm, no. What about V60 D6 AWD Plug-in Hybrid launched in 2013?

2011 actually. And it’s a charm, have driven over 80k the last 23 months in it.

Sorry about that, should be “…first attempt at a PHEV SUV”.

Thanks for the heads-up. /fixed

It’s probably only popular right now because there is virtually no competition in the plug-in SUV space. You’ve got the Model-X at double or triple the price. And then you have BMW’s X5. When the outlander and some other PHEV SUVs come to town, Volvo might not do so well.

Don’t forget that the XC90 is the only 7-seater PHEV SUV.

The Model X can seat up to 7 and would be around $80K after Federal incentives. This is not double the price of the Volvo which starts at $68K.

Did you include the $5K option for 3rd row seating?

Model X isn’t a PHEV nor will it out tow a XC90.

Not to mention that base Model 75D might NOT be even as fast…

At least Volvo can close the door faster than the MOdel X, LOL.

You forgot the mandatory air suspension for 3rd row.

Sure… because who would want to own the top of the line version of a luxury car with great utility and that is also the safest car ever tested. 😉

More PHEV models will cut into ICE sales, there is no reason to believe that the XC90 will sell in less numbers anytime soon or that the PHEV percentage of those sales will go down. It will rather go up since the XC90 can be offered as a PHEV with any combination of engine.

Anyone see the boot on the XC60? I looked at an XC90, but it is a bit cush for my taste. A PHEV XC60 with a decent sized trunk would sell. The A3 E-tron is too small and the Cmax trunk is full of old battery tech…

The new XC60 is coming next year. And it will be offered in at least 4 PHEV versions (T8, T5, D6 and D5).

We need more affordable versions of PHEV SUVs/Crossovers.

$40K for a midsize Crossover/SUV with 20 miles of EV range will sell like hot cakes… It would help if it got good rating on safety/reliability/performance.

Outlander PHEV says こんにちは

Chrysler Pacifica seats 7 and has a 30mi range.

I think we’re talking available plug-ins that seat 7, and the Pacifica Hybrid isn’t due until later this year: http://www.mychryslerpacifica.com/chrysler-pacifica-availability/

Pacifica PHEV is indeed interesting and attractive as an option.
But we don’t know the final price and it isn’t available with AWD/4WD.

This PHEV has a 9.2 kWh battery pack, claimed 40 km (25 miles).

Meh. Just another mediocre-ranged PHEV.

I’ll be happy when PHEV makers other than GM finally start offering cars with an electric range at least as big as the Volt 1.0.

Maybe it’s just me, but how does one build a V shaped motor with an odd number of cylinders? Or is it in a V shape opposite the electric motor?

“The Twin Engine set-up will pair a three-cylinder V-engine with an electric motor and a dual-clutch transmission.”

The forthcoming Volvo 3-cyl will have cylinders in line, kind of derived from current 4-cyl engine family.