Volvo hopes to become a fully electric car brand by 2025, therefore, the Swedish brand will be scrapping all hybrids. According to chief executive Hakan Sammuelson, Volvo plans to end petrol and hybrid model production to evolve into an all-electric only automaker in the near future.
The company’s current target is to have all-electric vehicles account for 50 percent of its global sales by 2025. To achieve this goal, Volvo is expected to launch a new electric model every 12 months until then. Sammuelson told Auto Express that after 2025 it is a question of “when” not “if” the company scraps internal combustion engines and hybrids entirely and becomes exclusively an electric car company.
The company also plans to reduce its carbon emissions by 40 percent, targeting production processes, operations, and the shipping of new vehicles from its factories by 2025.
“Really the one who decides will be the customers,” Sammuelson said. “We have shown our strategy to electrify, not by doing one car, we did it the expensive way of adopting a new platform so all future cars will be either electric or hybrid - it is up to the customer.”
“The higher the percentage of all-electric [sales] the faster we will shut down the others. If only 5 percent are buying cars with combustion it probably doesn’t pay to keep that - so let’s see what the customers prefer long term.”
The new XC40 Recharge is Volvo’s first all-electric model and will be followed by four more EVs by 2025. The company’s electric vehicle strategy is derived from the automaker’s sustainability philosophy, however, Sammuelson believes the venture will also be profitable, especially for a brand focused on selling premium products.
“If you stay with outdated technology that is not a smart way to improve your profits,” Sammuelson said. “What happens is then your margins disappear, and you close down. If you introduce new technology, in the beginning, it will probably lower margins - that has happened in the past. But after a number of years you introduce new technology because you believe it will improve your profits.”
Volvo hopes the XC40 Recharge, which can go from 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds, and reach about 200 miles on a charge, will spur EV sales. The Recharge name will be added to all models that are either fully electric or have plug-in capability. Now, consumers who buy a plug-in hybrid Volvo will also get a year of free charging, in the form of a refund for the average electricity costs in their region.
The XC40 Recharge, which features two 150 kW motors, one on each axle, and a 78 kWh battery pack integrated into the floor, will deliver 408 hp and roughly 442 pound-feet of torque. At a 150 kW DC fast charger, the vehicle should reach an 80 percent charge in just under 40 minutes. The range is not yet known since the EPA has not yet tested the vehicle, but Volvo estimates it will reach 248 miles under the European WLTP testing schemes, which usually equals about a 200-mile range in the US, Volvo said. The company is expected to begin sales next year starting at about $50,000, after government incentives.