Swedish carmaker Volvo has announced that they will be adding plug in hybrid versions of every car in their model range as well as selling a purely electric car by 2019.
Volvo already have plug in hybrid versions of the XC90 SUV and V60 on the market, with the next model planned for hybrid being the luxury sedan S90.
Volvo’s CEO said that the company expects 10% of its sales to be electric vehicles by 2020, and that the time had come for electric vehicles to become mainstream instead of niche.
Volvo has experience with EVs already. For several years they build a pure EV version of the C30 for selected markets only, and have been making a limited range of plug in hybrids for a couple of years also in certain markets only. This announcement that they will extend PHEVs across their entire range is a bold commitment to the technology.
Two factors influencing Volvo’s enthusiasm are their home market of Scandinavia, where EVs have gained rapid market acceptance and take up (Norway has the highest EV ownership rates in the world per capita) and the growing push for low pollution vehicles in China. Volvo is owned by Geely Group, a Chinese company that bought the Swedish carmaker from Ford several years ago, and although they leave Volvo to make its own decisions the needs of the Chinese market do play a role.