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July 5, 2017

Volvo Cars updates electrification plans

Geely's Volvo Cars said every new model it launches from 2019 will have an electric motor though many of these are likely to be no more than 48V 'mild hybrids' with a 48V starter/alternator and braking regeneration.

Geely’s Volvo Cars has said every model it launches from 2019 “will have an electric motor” though many of these are likely to be just mild hybrids with braking energy regeneration and a 48 volt starter/alternator.

Between 2019 and 2021, the automaker will launch five new, electrified models including two Polestar all-EV lines.

There will be no new development of diesel engines beyond 2020, a press conference in Stockholm was told.

Full electric, plug-in hybrid and mild-hybrid cars, built on the CMA architecture, will be offered. The company already offers PHEVs with both petrol and diesel engines. It said around 15% of sales are now PHEVs.

This means Volvo will phase out pure internal combustion engine (ICE) cars though it did not give a timeline. Details of the future models and suppliers for key items such as batteries were also not fortcoming.

“This is about the customer,” said Hakan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars, said in a statement. “People increasingly demand electrified cars, and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs.

“This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car. [We have] stated that we plan to have sold a total of 1m electrified cars by 2025. When we said it we meant it. This is how we are going to do it.”

Rebecca Lindland, an analyst for Kelley Blue Book, said: “The headline is certainly eye-catching, but it’s a bit extreme to say this is the end of the ICE. It may be the end of exclusively ICE-powered vehicles for Volvo, but not the industry overall, as demand for pure EVs is still extremely low on a global basis. Regulations and self-driving vehicle development may be pushing companies to go electric, but great numbers of consumers are not yet on board with either movement.”

Last month, Volvo Cars said it would turn Polestar into a new separately branded electrified global high-performance car company headed by current design chief Thomas Ingenlath.

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