Volvo vows to take on Tesla with all-electric model in 2019
Volvo thinks the future of mobility is in electrification and hybridization — and considering the fallout from Volkswagen's Dieselgate, that seems like a pretty safe bet.
While some other brands simply want to offer a few hybrid models, Volvo is keen to push electrification across its entire range. It is planning to unveil its first all-electric model — one that could well take on Tesla — in 2019, Volvo announced in a statement.
The electrification push begins with the Swedish carmaker's all-new XC90. The full-size SUV includes an all-wheel drive, plug-in hybrid model called the "T8 Twin Engine" that features both a gasoline engine and an electric motor. With an onboard battery pack, electric motor and gasoline engine, the XC90 T8 Twin Engine can do 26 miles of initial all-electric range, 112 mpge (miles per gallon equivalent) and a 0 to 62 mph time of 5.6 seconds.
Branching out from there, Volvo will also reveal a plug-in hybrid version of its newly announced S90 full-size luxury sedan. By 2020, with the subsequent introduction of its new 60 and 40 models, Volvo will have a full line of electrified, front-wheel drive hybrids.
"We are confident that by 2020, 10% of Volvo’s global sales will be electrified cars,” Håkan Samuelsson, president and CEO of Volvo Cars, said in a statement.
As for its all-electric model planned for 2019, Volvo won't divulge any details. It's likely, however, that the car will be a more premium product than many of the entry-level EVs currently for sale from the likes of Chevrolet, Nissan and Ford.
Though Tesla has yet to make a profit from its line of high-end EVs, it has set a standard for attention-grabbing electrified luxury cars. Volvo and other European luxury brands would be remiss to ignore the threat posed by the Palo Alto-based upstart EV automaker. Customers are currently ross-shopping the Model S against cars like the Audi A8 and BMW 7 Series.
If those companies can steer buyers away from Tesla with electrified variants of those cars, or maybe even something a bit more bespoke, they have a chance to compete with Elon Musk.