Volvo is to develop its first fully electric car by 2019, as part of a wider roll-out of electrified vehicles within its model range.
Plug-in hybrids will be introduced across the entire Volvo product line-up, with a new range of electrified small cars to follow.
The Swedish car company said it expects electrified vehicles to account for up to 10 per cent of total car sales in the medium term.
The company’s new Scalable Product Architecture will make electrification of new models easier, a process has already begun with the launch of the T8 Twin Engine All-Wheel Drive plug-in hybrid version of the new XC90 SUV, and will continue with plug-in hybrid versions of other forthcoming models.
A new front-wheel drive Twin Engine variant will also be introduced.
An entirely new range of smaller 40 series cars will be launched based on the newly-developed Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), which, like SPA, has been designed from the outset for electrification.
Håkan Samuelsson, president and CEO of Volvo Cars, said: “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.”
“We have learned a lot about how people use cars with electrification thanks to our current product offer,” said Dr Peter Mertens, senior vice president for research and development.
“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,” Mertens added.