Volvo has been one of the quieter players in the EV space, and as such, I’m all the more excited to see its hot-off-the-presses “Global Electrification Strategy.” The company is no Tesla, but its new plan announces a solid effort to integrate electrification into its current lineup, which will allow it to build mastery of EV tech and supply chains while also delivering higher-efficiency vehicles to customers.
The core of its new strategy revolves around plug-in hybrids, which it will deploy across its full line of cars. With Volvo vehicles known for its safety, and Tesla recently making a huge display of the impressive safety that comes with the Model X, I’m sure Volvo is eager to take back that crown by any means necessary.
Looking farther into the future, Volvo also plans to develop a full range of smaller electrified cars with a fully electric car for sale by 2019. This timing isn’t breakthrough, but the cautionary approach seems all too common among the larger auto manufacturers. Conventional automakers are used to delivering vehicles with a several-hundred-mile range on a single gas tank, so using that as the standard, the hesitation to jump into electrification at a period chock full of innovation and rapidly evolving R&D is understandable. Having said that, there is a price for waiting, and it will be exacted by the competition as the early adopters and EV curious lean in and buy up EVs from Volvo’s competition. Time will tell how its play works out, but I for one am already onboard the EV express.
Volvo hopes its broad vision for the electrification of its brand is compelling to customers and believes that 10% of all its sales will be EVs by 2020. 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.”
The subtext on that quote for me is “in 4 years.” 2019 is a long way off in a market that is evolving as quickly and in such revolutionary fashion as the EV market is today. We’ll have Model S, Model X, Model 3, maybe even Model Y… Volvo will start with PHEV versions of its 90 and 60 series cars, with its XC90 T8 PHEV having been announced earlier this year.