At this week’s Beijing auto show, Volvo showed off the plug-in hybrid version of the XC40to the public for the first time. Official specs still haven’t been revealed, but when it goes on sale, the only Volvo not offered as a PHEV in the U.S. could be the V60 wagon. If it sounds like Volvo’s going all-in on electrification, that’s because it is. And according to Volvo, it isn’t stopping with plug-in hybrids.
In a statement released this week, Volvo announced plans to significantly increase sales of EVs over the next few years. By 2025, its goal is for half of all its sales to be electric vehicles. Not electrified vehicles. Fully electric. Plus, since Volvo intends for all newly introduced models to use an electric motor starting in 2019, the other half of its sales will be mild hybrids and PHEVs.
U.S. and European customers will likely play a significant part in helping Volvo reach its EV sales goal. But as the Swedish automaker pointed out in its announcement, the biggest opportunity for growth is in China. It’s already the largest market for hybrid and electric vehicles, and the Chinese government plans for alternative-energy vehicles to account for 20 percent of sales by 2025.
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“Last year we made a commitment to electrification in preparation for an era beyond the internal combustion engine,” said Hakan Samuelsson, head of Volvo Cars. “Today we reinforce and expand that commitment in the world’s leading market for electrified cars. China’s electric future is Volvo Cars’ electric future.”
In other words, if you like Volvos, we sure hope you also like EVs.