Volvo’s electric strategy detailed by France's CEO (VAE - V60 Plug-in and 2012 Paris Auto Show)
During an event dedicated to the Volvo V60 Plug-in (or D6 AWD) in Paris last week, we met Pascal Bellemans, President of Volvo France who answered our questions about Volvo's strategy, future models and their powertrains.
-First we wanted to know if Volvo was considering other technological options than plug-in hybrids:
The Volvo C30 Electric is a test vehicle and the brand has no ambitions of marketing this vehicle, or even on electric propulsion for the moment.
M. Bellemans then confirms that the brand will focus on plug-in hybrid technology as its environmental performances are much better than the conventional hybrids. It is an ideal compromise between the two technologies (full hybrid and electric), with on one side a real electric range for daily trips with zero emissions and on the other less constraints linked to the use of a 100% electric vehicle.
While the diesel plug-in hybrid will be offered in Europe, the United States (and China) will get the petrol plug-in variant with the XC60, however the release of this powertrain in Europe is not planned (on the short term).
-Improved industrial performance to achieve ambitious goals
Volvo has two advantages, first with the VAE strategy they announced they will focus on four-cylinder engines that can receive turbos and hybridization.
Another competitive advantage is the modular platform SPA (Scalable Product Architecture) -as VW with MQB- which will help to develop a whole range on a single platform.
Thanks to these advantages, Volvo will achieve significant economies of scale, renewing its range to reach its target of 800,000 units in 2020, compared with 450,000 in 2011!
Also note that all the brand’s new models (V40 excluded) will be offered with a plug-in hybrid technology, thanks to the standardization of engines and architecture...
-New guidelines for Volvo’s design
They have been previewed with the concept You announcing the new front-end of the brand. The new models will always be focused on the driver with intuitive controls, Volvo wants to become the Apple of the automotive industry, high-tech but simple.
The next model to be presented is logically the oldest of the range that is to say the S80 as the concept You foreshadowed...
-About the V60 Plug-in, our quick test of a pre-production prototype allowed us to experience its comfort and silence, but also its power.
The car is packed with useful safety technologies, well concealed and disconnectable: blind spot detector, sensor of speed limit signs, white lane crossing warning, crash sensor ... We especially like its “minimalist” dashboard and tacho with high quality screen and animations plus the ability to customize the display’s color.
Sales volumes of the plug-in version in France, Volvo expects 10% sales for the V60 plug-in (10% of 5,000 units in 2013).
Compared to its competitors and PSA's Hybrid4 technology Volvo believes they are one year and a half ahead
-What to expect for the 2012 Paris Auto Show
Volvo will introduce a Sporty variant the V40, still green (with emissions of 94g/km) but fitted with an aerodynamic pack. The concept You will also be exhibited.
Here is a video of the V60 Plug-in in Parisian streets