Ask car buyers what they would list as Volvo’s distinguishing selling points and it’s odds-on that safety will still be at the top. But the company is rapidly moving towards a wider, holistic application of advanced technologies—automated and autonomous driving, chassis sophistication, and electrification—aimed at expanding the brand’s attributes and reputation.
Volvo’s electrification program is extensive. Håkan Samuelsson, the company’s President and CEO, says: “We are confident that by 2020, 10% of Volvo’s global sales will be electrified cars.” He also asserts that it is time EV technology moved from a niche to a mainstream position in the global marketplace.
Volvo’s chosen route is via plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) solutions for the best combination of efficiency, range and convenience. The technology will be introduced across the model range. And the company is to develop what it terms an “entirely new range of electrified smaller cars,” plus a battery EV that is expected to be on sale in 2019. The new EV’s range target on a single charge is believed to be 500 km (311 mi), taking it into the area of practical, everyday use without the burden of serious range anxiety.
Dr. Peter Mertens, the Senior VP