Starting with 2019 every car produced by Volvo will be at least hybrid, and will have an electric motor, which will make the Gothenburg-based safety merchant the first major car maker to commit to such a strategy. This might sound unexpected, but since its sibling Polestar was going down the same route we should have known it’s gonna happen sooner or later.
There will be three stages of Volvo’s electric dream. The first will be mild hybrids, where a 48-volt electrical system similar to that seen on the new Audi A8 will cut the engine wherever possible, like when the car is slowing down or stops. A motor will then restart the pistons quickly and smoothly when needed. Volvo will skip closed hybrids altogether, so there’s no plan to do things the way the Prius does; i.e. having self-generated electric power always on tap for short bursts. Instead, the Swedes are going straight for plug-in hybrids with greater fully-electric driving range thanks to bigger, heavier batteries. Volvo already launched the first V60 plug-in diesel-electric hybrid back in 2012.
The third and most extreme grade of electrification is to go completely sans combustion, and Volvo already has plans for five fully-electric cars between 2019 and 2021; three in the Volvo brand and two high-performance ones badged as Polestars. A range of petrol-electric and diesel-electric hybrids will join the ice-cap-friendly party.