Published on April 5th, 2016 | by Jo Borrás


20% Of Sales For The Volvo XC90 Are For The Plug-in Hybrid Version

April 5th, 2016 by  

Originally published on Gas2.

Despite the global drop in fuel prices that has pushed big trucks and big-bore muscle cars to new sales heights in recent years, the electrification of luxury brands continues with Volvo claiming that 1 in 5 of its new XC90 models sold are plug-in hybrids.

xc90-hybrid-1024x683More significant than that 20% figure, however, might be the fact that the $68,000 2016 Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine Plug-in Hybrid version of the car is a “limited availability” model in the US, with only 400 units available for sale in February. Volvo expects to sell even more of the popular hybrid SUVs as production ramps up and they become more readily available.

In the meantime, Volvo has also announced plans to launch exciting, 407 HP hybrid versions of its new S90 and V90 sedan and wagon models, as well as the next-generation replacement of its “not quirky” V40 compact.

What do you think of Volvo’s hybrid sales success? Do you think premium hybrid sales will slow down if gas prices stay low, or do well-heeled Volvo buyers just care more about buying “green” than they do about saving money? Let us know what you think about the future of Volvo’s XC90 in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

Source, images: Volvo, via Motorpasión.

Reprinted with permission.


About the Author

I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the Important Media network. You can find me on Twitter, Skype (jo.borras) or Google+.

  • Bristolboy

    In some markets, the PHEV version of a car can be cheaper than the fully ICE version due to incentives and tax. I am not sure about the Volvo, but certainly when I recently looked the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is cheaper than the conventional version for company car drivers in the UK.

  • CU

    The XC90T8 is performace and prestige top; that it is partly green is secondary. I believe almost all prestige top of the range will be PHEV or EV because they have also the top performance. Only die-hard Ferrari etc will stay with pure ICE at the top.

  • Freddy D

    Very little choice in that market. This Volvo is half the price of a model X for a medium sized SUV.

    My forecast is that the medium / large truck market won’t change much at all until battery cells can be had for $50 / kWh and then it will get crazy. Price parity to petrol is insufficient to move a market. Need a clear cost advantage. For now Volvo is selling to that 5% of the market who makes conscientious purchase decisions, not the 95%.

    Side note: I saw an article once that talked about “you know you’re a real Berkeley-an when:” and one was “you drove a Volvo, until you got your Prius”. That’s the Volvo market. Substitute for Berkeley your choice of conscientious city: Portland, Boulder, Cambridge, Madison, etc. and substitute Prius for Subaru if you’d like.

  • Well heeled customers would be buying more Model Xs if production could keep up with demand and the lower spec versions were available.

  • Martin

    If I had my way, in any urban area over say, 100.000 people, there would be only hybrids to be allowed to be sold, say by 2020, and by 2025 BEV’s only.

    Not so much for fuel reduction use, but simply for the reduction of emissions and associated reduction of the overall health care cost of the population (in any country).

    • Mod Mark

      Dealerships in small towns would be booming.

      Banning ICE in urban areas would be difficult. I could buy a house in the city, walk to work everyday and just use my ICE car for traveling outside the city.

      Is that allowed?

    • vensonata

      Basically the London model. Make city centers inaccessible to ice vehicles, or annoyingly expensive. Los Angeles is perfect for that. 20 mile radius no combustion engines, and watch things change pronto.
      But as I have been watching the Tesla 3 unveil, the statistics seem to be solving the problem of i.c.e. quite rapidly.
      Here are some projections that are possible: Present passenger cars sold in the U.S. market per year. 4.2 million. By 2020 Tesla could produce 500,000 per year. Gm bolt and Volt 200,000 year, Leaf and others 300,000. Total 1 million EVs or 25% of new cars sold by 2020.

      • Freddy D

        That would yield incredible results to speed up travel times and reduce pollution. In the US it would require a meaningful commitment to quality mass transit. China and European cities would really pay off quickly.

        Imagine LAs transportation system getting overhauled – it’s a disaster in every way. It’s slow, expensive, ugly, and environmentally unfriendly.

  • BigWu

    All too often, prognosticators incorrectly assume that hybrid sales, particularly plug-in hybrids, are driven primarily by fuel prices. While there may be some truth to this in the economy models (Prius immediately comes to mind), it is simply a false assumption upmarket.

    With premium/sports hybrids, buyers are primarily making their purchasing decisions based on overall performance. Hybrids can provide very substantial acceleration advantages, as seen in the XC90, BMW 330e, and even more so the LaFerrari.

    To prove the point another way, upmarket hybrids that offer better milage but worse acceleration (e.g., Porsche Cayenne S E-hybrid and Panamera S Hybrid) had terrible sales even when gasoline was very expensive.

  • Green Greed

    It may be worth noting that there is not tremendous global drop in fuel prices. Maybe there is in the US for some reason. Often a big chunk of a price of gas consists of taxes that stay there. Like in Germany, for example, it is 1.2 euro down from say 1.5, not reflecting 2+ times drop of the crude oil price.

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