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Volvo Cars Unveils Global Electrification Strategy

Volvo, one of the world's leading automobile manufacturers recently announced what can only be described as one of the most comprehensive electrification strategies in the world. Under this plan Volvo will introduce hybrid plug-in versions of every vehicle in its entire line-up. Along with this, Volvo also has plans in place to create an entirely new line-up of smaller electric cars and to have an all-electric car ready to go by the 2019 model year.

A Full Ten Percent

As part of this newly announced strategy, Volvo states that it expects the company's production of electrified cars to go up to a full ten percent of its entire auto sales over the medium run. The first stage of this new strategy will include the introduction of hybrid plug-in versions of both the 60 and 90 series larger size vehicles. This will be a part of the company's overall Scalable Product Architecture program.

In fact you will find that this process has already begun as Volvo has launched its T8 Twin Engine All-Wheel Drive plug-in hybrid version of the XC90 SUV, which is the latest model to come from this vaunted Swedish automaker. This process is soon to continue with the development of a hybrid plug-in version of the all-new S90 premium luxury sedan and then in other models in the coming years.

At the same time Volvo has plans in place to widen the range of hybrid plug-in vehicles it will have to offer along with the introduction of a brand new front-wheel drive Twin Engine variant. Volvo has also announced plans to increase the spread of this new technology and electrification with the introduction of the 40 Series, a smaller car that will be based on the company's new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) technology.

This technology was developed with the idea of electrification from the outset and makes the Volvo Car Group a member of a very unique club. One that includes only a very few automakers in the world who have two completely new automobile architectures that have been specifically designed to make use of both hybrid plug-in and fully electric power trains. The final stage in this process includes the introduction of an all-electric car that is expected to be available by 2019.

The Time Has Come

According to President and CEO of Volvo Cars, Håkan Samuelsson, "We believe that the time has come for electrified cars to cease being a niche technology and enter the mainstream. We are confident that in two years’ time, 10 per cent of Volvo’s global sales will be electrified cars." Volvo has firm belief and commitment in the fact that plug-in hybrid vehicles offer their customers vehicles capable of providing the best possible combination of range, overall fuel efficiency, and convenience.

A perfect example of this is the XC90 T8 Twin Engine 7 seater SUV that is currently on the market. This vehicle offers 407 horsepower while only putting out 49 g/km of CO2. At the same time this plug-in hybrid offers 112 mpg and up to 27 miles range on electric only power. Despite this incredible fuel economy, the XC90 T8 goes from 0 - 62 mph in a mere 5.6 seconds, a remarkable feat for any hybrid plug-in in this class. Results like these are expected to be the norm for all electrified vehicles to come from Volvo in the future.

According to Dr. Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President for Research and Development, "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."

Dr. Mertens went on to say," 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."

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