Volvo to go all electric from 2019

Posted: July 5, 2017 by oldbrew in Emissions, News, Travel

The internal combustion engine will still be on offer, as reports, but what the headline means is that there will be at least some element of electric propulsion, including electric-only models, in every Volvo from 2019. Will other car makers follow?

Volvo today announced that every model it launches from 2019 will have an electric motor, marking the historic end of cars that only have an internal combustion engine (ICE) and placing electrification at the core of its future business.

The announcement represents one of the most significant moves by any car maker to embrace electrification and highlights how over a century after the invention of the internal combustion engine electrification is paving the way for a new chapter in automotive history.

“This is about the customer,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive. “People increasingly demand electrified cars and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs. You can now pick and choose whichever electrified Volvo you wish.”

Volvo will introduce a portfolio of electrified cars across its model range that consist of fully electric cars, plug in hybrid cars and mild hybrid cars.

The company will launch 5 fully electric cars between 2019 and 2021, 3 of which will be Volvo models and 2 of which will be high performance electrified cars from Polestar. These 5 cars will be supplemented by a range of petrol and diesel plug in hybrid and mild hybrid 48 volt options on all models.

This means that there will in future be no Volvo cars without an electric motor, as pure ICE cars are gradually phased out and replaced by ICE cars that are enhanced with electrified options.

Continued here.
– – –
Volvo press release

  1. tallbloke says:

    “This is about the customer,” said Håkan Samuelsson.

    Well it certainly isn’t about best automotive engineering practice. I’m not so sure it’s really about the customer either. I think it’s about what the green lobby thinks the customer should think.

  2. Messenger says:

    And the electricity to recharge them all will come from where….?

  3. ivan says:

    Another good brand gone down the pan.

    When they produce an electric car that has the same range as a petrol/diesel engined one, that can recharge at the same speed as filling a tank of hydrocarbon fuel and doesn’t drag around more than half of its weight in batteries so reducing its carrying capacity they might have something to crow about.

    At the moment they are only virtue signalling to keep the snowflakes and green lobby happy.

  4. oldbrew says:

    Here’s the press release.
    – – –
    Volvo claims ‘a heritage of innovation’. It’s true electric cars and hybrids are not new, but their latest policy is.
    Whether it works out commercially is another matter.

    There can be few men on the planet who have saved as many lives as Volvo engineer Nils Bohlin – he introduced three-point seatbelts into the series production PV544. Since then, it’s estimated that over one million lives have been saved as a result of Volvo Cars waiving its patent rights so everybody could benefit.

  5. oldbrew says:

    Is Volvo surfing the wave of eco-doom?
    – – –
    The Prophets Of Eco-Doom: A Perfect Record Of Failure

    Date: 04/07/17 Hal G.P. Colebatch, News Weekly

    Environmentalism, or at least its deep-green variety, has, by the clownishly failed predictions of its gurus and prophets, confirmed its place as a leader among those “sciences” in which a complete lack of factual accuracy bears not the slightest relationship to its proponents’ reputations or careers.

  6. oldbrew says:

    Tesla: 1st Model 3 to be built Friday, sales start July 28 (Update)
    July 3, 2017

    The Model 3 is to start around $35,000 and with a $7,500 federal electric car tax credit, could cost $27,500. Tesla says the five-seat car will be able to go 215 miles (346 kilometers) on a single charge and will be sporty, accelerating from zero to 60 miles per hour in under six seconds.

    Read more at:

  7. dscott says:

    Volvo is owned by a Chinese company called Geely. This is their play to enter the electric car market and sell Chinese made batteries in direct competition to Tesla who itself is a major manufacturer of batteries. North American electric/hybrid cars are supplied by American batteries and Canadian sourced material for those batteries. So for the Chinese, this is a means to grab some market share in a foreign market. Perversely, the Chinese will benefit from US tax credits ($7500).

    Now to the degree that a hybrid gets better gas mileage than a pure ICE vehicle, pragmatically, the Chinese are slowing the growth of oil imports by the introduction of fuel saving vehicles to their domestic market. To the degree the Chinese can get their domestic consumers to go pure electric, that means essentially a COAL powered vehicle as their electricity is primarily sourced from COAL.

    The Chinese leadership isn’t interested in clean air, this is why their domestic vehicles get better gas mileage than Western counterparts as the pollution controls for domestic Chinese cars which favor combustion efficiency are non existent in favor of fuel efficiency (almost 10 mpg extra). Most people don’t realize that there is a price for pollution controls, the more excess air you introduce to favor combustion efficiency to eliminate unburned gasoline and CO (air pollution), the less thermal efficiency you achieve since excess air is hot and therefore an energy loss out the exhaust. Fuel efficiency DOES NOT equal thermal efficiency or cleaner exhaust air.

  8. They are betting on making cars for a privileged elite, who can ignore the constraints of price, maintenance, and power supply. Henry Ford would eat them alive.

  9. Timo Soren says:

    Well, the Swedes will kill their last brand, except for specialkty brands (one makes funky electric cars for Skåne). Saab died in 2012, Caresta makes sports cars from Volvos, Uniti (funky electric cars) and a couple more but this is the death kneal for Volvo.

    The only remnants (actual origins as well) are Gripens, fighter jets of SAAB, still being made.

    But Volvo’s death won’t leave even that.

  10. A C Osborn says:

    As far as I can find out Tesla has never made a profit on it’s cars and I can’t see them doing so with the Model 3.

  11. Annie says:

    It seems that our present Volvo could well be our last one. A pity.

  12. oldbrew says:

    ‘These 5 [electric] cars will be supplemented by a range of petrol and diesel plug in hybrid and mild hybrid 48 volt options on all models.’

    At a guess the hybrids are where most of the sales are going to be.

    Report: New mild hybrid tech will shake up green car sales

    By 2025 mild hybrids will capture 18 percent of the European market, IHS Automotive forecasts. That’s compared with 6 percent for plug-in hybrids, 3 percent for full hybrids and 3 percent for full-electric vehicles in the same time frame.
    . . .
    Last year [2016] Toyota sold 232,699 hybrids across Europe…
    The automaker wants hybrids to account for half of its total European sales by 2020, up from 31 percent at the time of interview.
    – – –
    Can Continental score big with 48-volt hybrids?

    Continental predicts global production of 48-volt hybrids will rise to 4 million by 2020 and 25 million by 2030.
    . . .
    ‘You get quite a bit of functionality for relatively low cost. This is the marvelous compromise of the system.’

  13. Curious George says:

    It is a managerial decision. Volvo stock has been rising lately.

    To have a little fun with the announcement “every model will have an electric motor”: my car has an electric motor, powering windshield wipers.

  14. renewableguy says:

    Well it certainly isn’t about best automotive engineering practice. I’m not so sure it’s really about the customer either. I think it’s about what the green lobby thinks the customer should think.

    The rest of the world in the upper class likes electric.

  15. oldbrew says:

    Everything You Need To Know About The Upcoming 48-Volt Electrical Revolution In Cars

    a new electric motor and 48-volt battery are simply added onto the combustion engine and normal 12-volt battery
    . . .
    “50 to 70 percent of the benefit at 30 percent of the cost [of a full hybrid].”

  16. Anoneumouse says:

  17. oldbrew says:

    Mercedes and BMW are also entering the 48-volt mild hybrid market.
    – – –
    BMW G30 5 Series Goes Plug-In Hybrid: 2017 BMW 530e iPerformance

    2017 BMW 530e iPerformance — 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) takes just 6.2 seconds. But 141 imperial mpg looks optimistic if driven like that.

  18. Dave Ward says:

    @ Oldbrew – Volvo’s system doesn’t look very different to the one Suzuki are already producing for the Indian market:

    Just a higher voltage lithium battery, and some 48-12 volt conversion equipment.

  19. oldbrew says:

    Dave W – yes, Renault are in the game too. Could be big business in 5-10 years.

    ‘Renault also offers a petrol-electric ‘Hybrid Assist’ variant of the dCi 110 diesel for £1,000 extra. It’s a mild-hybrid, using an integrated starter generator and regenerative braking to assist the petrol engine wherever possible’

  20. […] via Volvo to go all electric from 2019 — Tallbloke’s Talkshop […]

  21. Pretty stupid of Volvo but it seems they do not fully mean it. The propose some kind of generator. Electric drive vehicles are not new. Think of diesel electric locomotives which have a diesel generator powering electric motor drives. Large trucks at mines are powered similarly with a diesel generator powering electric motors at each wheel. There are fork lift trucks which have a fuel cell (hydrogen or LNG) powering electric motors for the drive and hydraulics.
    The day will come for electric driven cars. The only question is what will be the power source. Will it be a diesel generator, a fuel cell or even a small nuclear reactor (note satellites and space rockets have nuclear power sources with a life around 35 years)?

  22. E.M.Smith says:

    Volvo is still in business? Who knew….


    Their share of the USA market is trivial, at best. Can’t remember the last time I saw a new one on the road. Still see some old ones, though.

    They used to make a pretty good Diesel wagon in the 80s, but those have long disappeared from the roads.

    Hyundai and Toyota selling lots. Honda hanging in there. Heck, even Subaru sells more. Folks with an ego to boost still buy BMWs. Mercedes for the older stodgier wealthy folks. Fords selling huge, GM to those who don’t mind a Goverment Motors car… Fair number of way overpriced VWs too.

    But Volvo? Not even sure where I’d go to find a dealer… or why…

    Ought to be fun watching the e-cars try to cross Texas… especially the place near Van Horn on I-10 where it is about 240 miles between stops… bare dirt in between (near “Fort Stinking Desert” 🙂

    Regularly gets me checking the gas gauge … just to make sure the tank is full… Frankly, I prefer to take the Diesel on those trips just for the extra range and gas station choices. Truck stops nicely spaced along the interstate. Anything with a range under 300 miles, you are risking a night sleeping in the desert waiting for a tow…

    Looked at a CNG car recently. Couldn’t cross that gap. No path from west coast to East with CNG station spacing close enough. At least with an e-car you can carry a kW generator in the trunk… or maybe spend 12 hours every 200 miles charging at a hotel with a long drop cord…

    Lots of folks make that kind of long drive. The e-car folks will either have a second car or they will need a hybrid-not-quite-e-car compromise.

    Oh, a similar drive is to Marble Canyon.

    Beautiful place. Narrow end of The Grand Canyon. You cross an Indian Reservation to get there from the south. One place to fill up, couple of hundred miles from nowhere. Then you fill up again at Marble Canyon. Otherwise you don’t leave… highly recommend it. But don’t try to get there on batteries…

    E-cars are great commuter boxes for cities, but don’t confuse them with general purpose cars nor use them for touring…

    Maybe it’s just a rural Western thing….

  23. John Silver says:

    Easy on the Rum, Chefio.
    The Volvo V90 Cross Country T6 is my dream car. So there.
    Volvo already have the hybrid T8 option for all models.

  24. EMS it is the same in Australia. Range counts. In most of Australia one can travel 100’s of km between service stations. I recall back in the 1980’s a company that sold LPG required their cars to be fitted with only LPG. One of the accountants had to do a audit on a building material depot. When he reached the last service station with LPG he found it was closed but he drove on another 100km to do his audit and ran out of fuel on the way back. He took a taxi about (300km) and the next day the car was towed back to Sydney. After that the company required all their vehicles to be duel fuel. The LPG tank in the boot took a lot of space but the car range went up to nearly 1000 km. There are many stories of battery powered vehicles (cars and buses) having to be towed back to base with flat or collapsed batteries. The sales of battery electric cars in Australia are practically zero. A fuel powered generator is the only way to go- say 120kW generator, 25kW motor at each wheel and 20kW remaining for lights, air conditioning etc.
    Re Volvo very few cars in Australia but some mine trucks and front end loaders but I think sales a disappearing with Catapillar making a come back, and also Komatsu but soon mining trucks will come from China.
    Forgot to mention draglines are now all electric with large diesel generators. These monsters can be remotely operated and controlled.

  25. Gamecock says:

    Cheap ass marketing? Make some outlandish claim about electric car future, and you get headlines around the world.


  26. Mjw says:

    Another reason to hate Volvo drivers.

  27. oldbrew says:

    Electric cars may stall without a battery revolution
    The Guardian – Wednesday 19 July 2017

    Car companies are committing to an electric future, but the success of the sector depends on better batteries
    . . .
    A replacement battery pack for GM’s Chevrolet Bolt is priced at more than $15,700 (£12,150) – representing over 40% of the cost of the entire vehicle.
    – – –
    And at the time of replacement, more like 400% of the value of the vehicle.