Volvo has set itself the target of half of its vehicle sales being made up of pure electric cars by 2025.
Last year the Swedish car maker – owned by Chinese group Geely – announced that it would sell only electrified cars from 2019, however, this would include partially battery-powered models and hybrids.
But this latest statement suggests around 23,000 vehicles the brand sells in the UK by 2025 will be zero-emissions models, as manufacturers look to enter a bold new electric generation.
Electric pledge: Volvo previous committed to only making ‘electrified’ models from 2019, and now it wants half of its sales by 2025 to be made up by battery electric models
Volvo sold 46,139 new cars in the UK last year – it’s second highest output in its history.
Globally, sales for the Swedish marque were at a record high, with 571,577 registrations across the world.
Based on these figures alone, more than 285,000 new vehicles it intends to sell in 2025 will be powered solely by electric.
It builds on the brand’s commitment last year, when it said all models released from 2019 will be either ‘mild hybrid, plug-in hybrid or battery electric vehicles’.
Volvo’s drive towards an electrified future has very much piggybacked on the Chinese government’s plans to increase low-emission vehicle sales to 20 per cent by 2025, which equates to around seven million new-energy models hitting the market annually from that date.
And with governments in Europe and further afield looking to clampdown on vehicle emissions to meet tightening air pollution regulations – including the UK’s plan to block the sale of petrol and diesel cars in 2040 – Volvo is looking to spearhead the inevitable switch to greener vehicles.
Volvo currently has no 100% electric cars on sale in the UK, but it does have a range of plug-in hybrids – the latest being the newly unveiled XC40 Twin Engine hybrid
The Swedish carmaker – owned by Chinese firm Geely – has for a long time stated that it wants to be at the forefront of making electric vehicles mainstream
Speaking at the Beijing Motor Show, Håkan Samuelsson, president and CEO of Volvo Cars, said: ‘Last year we made a commitment to electrification in preparation for an era beyond the internal combustion engine.
‘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.’
Efforts will need to be increased to fulfill the pledge as Volvo currently sells no 100 per cent electric models in the UK.
However, it does have plug-in hybrid versions of the XC60 and XC90 SUVs, V60 and V90 estates and the S90 saloon. The plug-in hybrid XC40 was also showcased for the first time in Beijing this week.
And the brand also has electric vehicle interests elsewhere.
According to new data from cap hpi, pure electric car registrations in Britain have increased by 128% since 2015
Volvo also has a performance sub-brand called Polestar, which will produce expensive hybrid and electric models, such as the Polestar 1 pictured
First there’s Polestar, an electrified Volvo sub-brand, which already has the Polestar 1 coupe on the books.
Prices for the 592bhp hybrid were confirmed at the Chinese motor show this week, with the range starting from an eye-watering €155,000 (£135,500) – and it will only be made in left-hand drive.
A further two all-electric products will be revealed next year – the Polestar 2 saloon and Polestar 3 SUV – though if similarly priced to the 1 will be out of reach for most mainstream car buyers.
Volvo is also closely tied to Geely-owned new vehicle maker Lynk & Co, which will release its first car – the 01 Plugin hybrid – in 2020 and build models at Volvo’s Ghent factory in Belgium.
Geely’s other car brand, Lynk & Go will enter the European market from 2020 with the 01 (pictured). All cars will be built at Volvo’s Belgian car plant
The Swedish car manufacturer – which is synonymous with safety – has already previewed its CMA Battery Electric Vehicle Technical Concept Study, but will need to serious ramp-up efforts to bring pure-electric models to market
And it isn’t just Volvo pushing ahead with electric-vehicle plans.
BMW also previewed the forthcoming iX3 electric SUV at the same event, which will be the first of a new wave of zero-emissions 4x4s from the German giant.
Interest in electric cars is undoubtedly on the up in the UK, according to new figures.
The number of electric vehicles on Britain’s roads from April 2015 to this month has jumped by 128 per cent, with 21,019 more battery electric models registered than three years ago.
That’s according to new data from cap hpi, which said the overall number of electric cars on British roads is now at 37,483, though the figures do not account for vehicles that have been scrapped or exported and include all types of vehicle.
This still makes up just a fraction of the 31.2 million vehicles registered in the country, according to figures for the end of 2017.
Commenting on the findings, Chris Plumb, electric vehicles expert at cap hpi said: ‘Drivers are showing growing confidence in the technology as the real-life ranges of vehicles increase and faster charging is available. Manufacturers also provide more choice with many now providing an all-electric option.
‘Electric vehicles can also make financial sense with total cost of ownership and tax savings.
‘Increasingly, people are saying they enjoy the driving experience in electric vehicles.
‘As clean air zones roll out across the UK, we expect the popularity of these cars to continue to grow.’
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