Volvo held a press conference earlier this morning to announce several new vehicles and powertrains to enter their lineup, and their plans for electrification of models by 2019. Here’s a rundown of the press event.
In recent news, Volvo has decided to spin-off their Polestar brand to build high-performance, premium, all-electric models to rival Tesla. In the press conference, Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson says the Volvo/Polestar aims to be the second largest manufacturer of electric vehicles alongside Tesla, being the largest of the two. He also admitted that Tesla is successful in bringing all-electric vehicles to market.
Volvo announced plans to introduce five all-new electric models to their lineup, of which two will be all-electric under the Polestar name, whilst the other three will be based on different stages of electrification options, and using the T8 Twin Engine technology.
Samuelsson made clear that these models will be all-new and not based on any of the current models in the lineup. Samuelsson said that all models built after 2019 will be electrified are separate models, but some existing models will enter the line after their lifetime ends.
“The lifetime of a car is about seven years, we plan on moving towards electric models by the end of the models lifetime” says Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson.
These models will be built on Volvo’s CMA (Compact Modular Architecture) platform, built on the SPA (Scalable Product Architecture) platform used on the 90-series cars, but smaller to accommodate 60-series and 40-series cars. Volvo says they will install battery packs on the floor of the vehicle, similar to Tesla, to allow various stages of electrification and allows Volvo to create bespoke systems to fulfill different models of the lineup. Volvo says these vehicle will offer options for either small, medium, or long range battery options, with the top-of-the-line model has a competitive range of up to 500 kilometres, or 310 miles per charge based on use.
As controversial as vehicle electrification sounds, Volvo hopes to completely end combustion engines in their models as they look forward to a far more sustainable future and a healthier world for everyone. Samuelsson also made clear the Diesel models for the European market aren’t dead. In fact, Samuelsson said that the increase in Diesel costs due to more refining necessary, will drive up the price, therefore making electrification a more desirable option.
These new models will be global vehicles and sold in most markets. They will be built in China, Sweden, and their United States plants starting in 2019. Volvo hopes that existing charging networks will expand and introduce networks to new markets by that time. Volvo expects high sales in Europe, as well as America.
Read the official Volvo Press Release here.
Photos courtesy of Volvo Cars.