Volvo will deliver its first full battery electric vehicle by 2019 – with up to 100kWh of battery power – as it turns to electrification for its future.
We’ve already had clear signs that Volvo think electrification of cars is the future, with the assertion the upcoming T5 Twin Engine plug-in will sign the death knell of the diesel engine in cars in Europe, and what appear to be filings for new electric Volvo badges – P5 to P10.
All of which is a long way away from Volvo’s stance in 2012 when they halted production plans for a C30 EV and called for the EU to look again at onerous CO2 targets and EV sales projections.
But now, according to Mats Anderson – Volvo’s man in charge of all things electric – Volvo is committed to electrification, and there is no way back.
Speaking at the Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Technologies Symposium in San Diego, Anderson spelled out where Volvo is heading, when it will get there and what it will offer.
The new T5 Twin engine plug-in will feature a 1.5 litre three-cylinder engine with a 55kW integrated electric motor and 7-speed DCT, with a 9.7 kWh lo-ion battery in the centre tunnel delivering enough juice for a 30 mile EV range (think 15 miles in the real world.). That should arrive with the new Volvo XC40 this year.
Following on from that, by 2019 there will be a 48V Mild Hybrid system for petrol and diesels with up to 15kW of help for the ICE engine with a small 0.25kWh 48V li-ion battery, making the ICE engines cleaner and more economical.
The big news is probably the arrival of Volvo’s first BEV by 2019 too, using a new Volvo platform for electric vehicles – the Modular Electrification Platform (MEP) – which is currently in development and which can be utilised for systems with up to 100kWh batteries.
That means the sort of range and power the most expensive Teslas currently deliver, with support for 20 kW of AC charging and high speed DC too.
Assuming we see no new disruptive advances in battery technology in the next two years, this is Volvo’s EV roadmap, with the aim of putting one million electric Volvos on the road by 2025.
Of course, that works for Scandinavia with its endless supply of nature-driven electricity. But back in Blighty we’d better start getting the French and Japanese to plan a wave of new nuclear power plants to meet demand.
Either that, or we’ll have to crack cold fusion, re-open the coal mines and boot up the coal-fired power stations or harness hydrogen. None of which are very likely.