Volvo speeds electrification switchover

October 16, 2015 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
With a purely electric vehicle, Volvo plans to enter the increasingly competitive e-car fray. In addition, the company disclosed plans to ‘hybridify” its entire fleet and to introduce a modular platform that improves the design scalability.

In the medium term, Volvo expects electrified vehicles to account up to 10 percent of its total car sales. High time to strengthen the electric element in its offerings. Towards this end, the company announced plans to build an ell-electric car that will hit the showrooms in 2019. While Volvo did not publish any technical details, in media reports was talk of a driving range of 500 kilometres (310 miles).

But before Volvo’s e-car will be available, the company will roll out hybrid versions of all existing model lines. The first element of Volvo’s electrification strategy will be visible in the introduction of plug-in hybrid versions of its 60 series and 90 series. This process has already begun with the launch of the T8 Twin Engine All-Wheel Drive plug-in hybrid version of its new XC90 SUV and will continue with plug-in hybrid versions of the new S90 premium sedan and other forthcoming models.

The carmaker said it will also broaden the range of plug-in hybrid cars it offers with the introduction of a new front-wheel drive Twin Engine variant. In addition, the company plans to deepen its product offering with the introduction of an entirely new range of smaller 40 series cars based on its newly-developed Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), which, like the existing Scalable Platform Architecture, has been designed from the outset for electrification. This makes Volvo Car Group one of very few car makers in the world with two brand new vehicle architectures designed to support both plug-in and pure electric powertrain configurations.

The new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) will supplement the existing Scalable Product Architecture and extend it to the low end. This will enable Volvo to manufacture compact cars more cost-efficiently and perhaps to participate in the competitive compact class market.The introduction of the CMA in 2017 means that all future Volvo passenger vehicles will be built on just two scalable and modular vehicle architectures, much