At the ongoing Beijing Motor Show, Volvo announced that the Swedish car-makers aim for fully electric cars to make up to 50 per cent of its sales by 2025. The announcement is in line with the company’s plan to launch mild hybrid, plug-in hybrid or battery electric vehicles of all the models it will launch from 2019. Moreover, the company also revealed its strategy to generate half of its electric vehicle sales from China. The event marks the first time the company displays only plug-in hybrid vehicles at an auto show.
Despite being the smallest amongst luxury car makers, Volvo has been in the forefront of delivering safest and lower emission vehicles as it aims to gain a larger foothold in a market dominated by Germans – Mercedes Benz, Audi, and BMW.
The company has set a target of selling one million electrified cars by 2025, as it completely revamps it’s portfolio with a range of mild-hybrids with a 48-volt battery, plug-in hybrids, and electric vehicles starting 2019 itself.
Henrik Green, senior vice-president, research and development, at Volvo Car said,
“We anticipate a big turn starting with 2021… We are rolling out our first full battery electric vehicle in 2019 with the Polestar, which will still be a niche, (but) after 2021, it will become bigger with Polestar 2 followed by Polestar 3. Eventually, by 2025 you could see half of our vehicles sold being fully electric.”
Falling battery costs is the major benefiting point for Green. He expects the price of batteries to soften by 5-10% every year and once the price reaches $100 per megawatt hour, the electric vehicle market will be as competitive as a cleaner diesel car for future.
Volvo admits that there are infrastructure challenges and the company has explored the possibility of swappable batteries, wireless charging, and fast chargers.
Mr Green added that,
“The most suitable solution is a fast charging of 30-40 minutes. Wireless charging is convenient but it is slow and swappable batteries is cumbersome. If there is a quick charging solution available in 30-40 minutes, then swapping is not needed.”