Volvo’s model range will consist of only electrified models within just 12 months as Australia shrinks its line-up further to focus on SUVs. The local arm's plan follows the Swedish maker's global strategy to sell electrified vehicles only by 2019.
Headlining Volvo’s new line-up is the upcoming XC40 compact SUV that will launch here in April 2018, and will come with three different electrified drivetrains consisting of fully-electric, plug-in hybrid and 48-volt hybrid powertrains.
“By 2019 all our new vehicles thereafter will only be electrified, I.e having a fully battery electric, or a plug-in or a 48-volt hybrid, so there will be no pure combustion engine cars anymore in Volvos after 2019,” Volvo vice president of sales and marketing, Bjorn Annwall, told TMR.
“We will introduce a fully-electric XC40 in the future and we will also introduce, like we want in all cars, degrees of electrification of mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid, so we are working on those powertrains and that will eventually be in the XC40 as well.”
“We are going to introduce 4 or 5 models that are fully electrified in 2019 to 2021 timeframe and after which some will come to Australia but exactly which ones we are still working through.
“The product strategy is going to get much more focused on the SUVs, so the XC90, XC60, and XC40. As a small brand, we can’t spread ourselves too thin, so that’s the core of the focus.
“As we then move into battery electric vehicles I would at least say that I would love Volvo’s to be fully electrified some day in Australia.”
Plans are well underway to move existing petrol only-powered models off car yards as Australia’s Volvo dealer network gets ready to shred its current line-up to focus on the popular SUV segment and embrace a raft of electrified drivetrains.
“We are firmly committed to the strategy and we will make it happen,” Volvo Australia sales director Stephen Connor said to Drive.
“We’ve got dealers in the network and customers that we need to transition out and we will move to an SUV strategy for 2018 and then 2019 we will move fully into electrification and petrol electrification,” he said.
Volvo is optimistic that the changeover which will occur quickly will be embraced by its customers.
“It’s up to the consumers to make that switch and I think it is going to happen quite quickly away from diesel to petrol, and away from pure petrol to electrified petrols, and then eventually to pure electric,” said Annwall.
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