By on October 15, 2015

Volvo Cars' vision of an electric future

Volvo announced Thursday that it would make an all-electric car available by 2019 and offer more plug-in hybrid versions of its cars sooner, starting with the S90. Volvo already sells a plug-in hybrid version of its XC90 SUV.

The automaker’s announced plans follow news that it would make a compact crossover by 2018, likely called the XC40, which would eventually share the same architecture as its V40 and V40 Cross Country.

According to the automaker, Volvo expects 10 percent of its sales by 2020 to be of electric cars. The automaker reported 465,000 sales in 2014.

The push for hybrid and electric cars by Volvo is seen as the Swedish automaker’s attempt to capitalize on growing backlash toward diesel. Volvo currently offers at least five different diesel engines in its cars internationally.

“We believe that the time has come for electrified cars to cease being a niche technology and enter the mainstream,” Hakan Samuelsson, President and CEO of Volvo Cars, said in a statement.

In China, Volvo sells a long-wheelbase version of its S60 sedan with a plug-in hybrid powertrain. The S60L has been confirmed for the U.S. for later this year, but a plug-in hybrid version hasn’t yet been announced.

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22 Comments on “Volvo Will Sell Electric Car By 2019; Plug-in Hybrid S90 Sooner...”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    So Volvo is going to ramp from 0 to 50k EVs in a year’s time, only 5 years from now? OK.

  • avatar

    Because your top end niche luxury (S90) Swede-Chinese car should have the further applied niche of plug-in. Make sure it’s $100,000 as well, more than the S-Class or A8.

    I think Volvo just doesn’t get it. Nor would I trust such advanced tech coming from them. It’s like they’re in a constant state of experimentation with drive trains since they ran out of Ford bits a few years ago.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      Volvo’s drivetrain choices are getting simpler: one engine (“DriveE” 2.0), a couple of states of tune (240 or 300 HP), and an optional electric rear axle. If anything, things were way more complicated under Ford: 4, 5, 6 or 8 cylinders on the same platform, most available in turbo and non-turbo.

      • 0 avatar

        Hmm, fair enough. I just feel they’re unproven. I don’t like the twin-engine stuff either.

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          All new engine families start-out unproven. That’s OK, because I’ll bet most Volvos are leased. Any reliability issues with the new 4 will hopefully be reflected in off-lease prices.

          • 0 avatar

            I don’t like to think of cars as lease propositions. Especially a brand like Volvo, which is/should be a “Buy it and drive for 250k then give to my son.” sort of thing.

          • 0 avatar

            My issue with lease brands is there is no incentive to design a quality product while there IS incentive to push the envelope on product performance/options to the point of early failure.

            VOLVO: Check out our turbo and supercharged 2.0L I4 which cranks out 450hp! Check out our 10 way adjustable seats and power [insert]

            ME: That’s very impressive but what is the estimated longevity of the transmission? Turbo components? Cylinder heads? Timing belt/water pump? How do I clean the throttle body? How do I change a sensor in the cabin or change cabin air filter?

            VOLVO: …

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle


            If by “VOLVO” you mean a sales person, then yes. You can take a short walk to the back door of the dealership and ask a tech the same questions and get your answers.

            The same is true of all brands really.

            I don’t think that Volvo is more of a lease brand than others in the same category. Acura, Audi, Lexus, Lincoln, they’re all lease brands. Try them out for three years, buy the lease out if you like it, lease something else if you don’t.

          • 0 avatar

            I shopped Zegna when I was at the Crystals attached to the Aria in Las Vegas, and believe me s*it is f*cking expensive. I mean its the if you ask you can’t afford it kind (I needed a specific shade of blue tie/pocket square to match my lapis lazuli cufflinks and I was killing time waiting for a ride. Yes I knew it was not cheap going into the store). But the thing is, the clothing is of a high quality and will last a long time when cared for in the proper manner. I still have my blue one which I got in high school. If I am spending a decent buck, I really want the same in my automobile with odd exotics as the only exception. There is NOTHING special about lease grade A4, Q5, ES350, TLX, or MKC (not to say any is bad or I wouldn’t drive one). While you will get reliability in some of those models/marques, when your brand becomes a “lease only” brand the product tends to go down hill with maybe Lincoln being the notable excretion. Lexus, Acura, and Infiniti as much as they may do leasing (or target certain models for lease) they are not lease brands. People can keep their cars after the period is over. The German brands moved to a leasing model and we all know what can happen after the lease period (not does, but can). When you have the cachet to pull this off you do, Volvo just does not and I doubt ever will.

          • 0 avatar

            Pocket square? It’s been ages since I’ve seen someone with a pocket square! I thought those were sort of done like the double breasted power suit.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            I’m still not convinced that Volvo is any more or less of a lease brand than Audi or Lexus. What makes them lease brands is the price level. They are expensive enough that owners can afford to replace them every three/four years, and some get a significant tax benefit from leasing.

            In Europe the same segment is called “company car.”

            Basically, anything more expensive than a loaded Camry is likely to be written-off as a business expense and/or leased.

          • 0 avatar

            I have one tie with a matching pocket square. I wish I had more. It really does help break up the expanse of gray.

          • 0 avatar

            When I have bought, leased, or bought via loan my new Volvos I have always had the intent of keeping the vehicle for the long haul. I don’t know whether that is typical of Volvo owners in general or just me. However, having stated this, my actions have not typically matched-up with my intent (I recently have bought new and within a few years sold a 2008 XC70 and 2012 XC70). My current V60 is driven about 30k miles per year so I should soon know whether the new 2.0 e-drive engine will present any long term troubles. This time around I plan to hold-out for the long haul (just for the sake of experimentation to see how well the thing holds up). I will keep my fingers crossed in the hope that there are no problems.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle


            Do keep us informed on your Volvo Drive-E experience. Volvo’s definitely on the list for my next new car. They would move to the top of the list if the upcoming V40 was offered with a manual (and 300 hp, it goes without saying).

          • 0 avatar


            When I get home I will shoot a pic of what I bought so you can get an idea. I always wear a handkerchief or pocket square.


            “What makes them lease brands is the price level”

            I see the logic here, and I can’t speak for wha goes on in Europe, but I can lease a CLA that costs 30K which is in line with KIA’s midlevel loaded offerings and I can lease a K900 which loaded is similar in price to the loaded Merc E-class. I don’t think price is the factor anymore, or at least isn’t the only one. I think the illusion of heritage and prestige plays a major factor in becoming a lease only brand. Volvo does have rich heritage that it generally forgets and its more recent offerings of the last dozen years are something it should want to forget. If they tried to play up the 140 angle or P1800 a little in marketing its a maybe, but all of the sudden connecting with heritage is not going to convince the perpetual leasers to give you a whirl.


            Historically you are the atypical owner but I’m not sure who was buying those S80s when they were craptastic. I imagine if those were traditional owners they said bye bye a long time ago or they went against their nature and traded early to avoid problems. The later P3s were much better from what I am told so maybe the new motor will work out. I think Volvo needs to focus on building a quality product which is reliable, Maybe they did they just that, but I’m skeptical.

    • 0 avatar

      Swede-Chinese? Really?

      Did you call Volvo Swede-American when they were owned by Ford?
      Do you call Infiniti Japanese-French?

      All this anti-Chinese BS needs to go away. You typed that post on a Chinese made computer and you’ve texted within the last hour on a Chinese made phone.

      Volvo gets it as a global automaker. Most of the Ford tech you see now has Volvo origins that was stolen from them. The Ford Explorer is an updated S80 on stilts, you know.

  • avatar

    Everyone in Europe will be on EV within 30 years.

    IT’s the only way to beat their crushing TAXES ON FOSSIL FUELS.

    Once the money slows down from taxes on CO2, they’ll just tax you on your EV with a “voltage tax” or “amp tax” or something.

    They’ll come up with it – and you’ll just be forced to pay it.


    • 0 avatar

      Are you always out of meds?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      You’re right about the taxes, and it will be the same problem in the US.

      The only fair solution is this:

      Road tax = annual miles x weight

      Then EVs, big trucks (heh), gas cars, and diesels all pay for the road upkeep, according to how much they damage the road.

      • 0 avatar

        I’m on board with that “Road Tax” (having just bought a 2015 Volt) – just not a flat fee, as I don’t drive too much, and don’t plan on burning much Exxon/Iran/Fractastic/ISIS Petrol in the future.

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