Volvo has announced that all its cars sold in India from 2019 will either be electric, hybrid or plug-in hybrid. The Swedish automaker is betting big on electric cars. It’s owned by a Chinese automaker called Geely, and China – the world’s biggest car market – plans to become fully electric by 2040.
Since Geely is so heavily invested in electric vehicle technology, Volvo – which shares platforms with Geely – is also pushing resources into electric vehicles. The company plans to use the electric and hybrid car strategy worldwide from 2019.
Charles Frump, managing director of Volvo India, confirmed this development,
We must follow the same strategy in India and if we would want to be the leaders here when it comes to electrification, then we have to be the first in line. When you look at our strategy, it includes full electric, plug-in hybrids and hybrid vehicles. So, whichever way the government wants to promote electric mobility, we will bring products accordingly. This was a part of the global strategy. We were the first mass automotive company to say that post 2019, it will be all electric vehicles. That is ahead of the pack and that promise goes for India as well. The advantage we have is that the entire product range at present can be converted to electrified cars which means, the volumes of electrified luxury cars will be heavily skewed towards Volvo
With these statements, Mr. Frump has also confirmed that Volvo’s strategy for India will be closely linked with the government’s announcement that all cars in India need to run on electricity by 2030. Already, Volvo offers a hybrid vehicle in India in the form of the XC90 Plug-in Hybrid SUV. The company has also announced that the recently launched XC60 SUV will also be offered with a plug-in hybrid option next year.
Presently, plug-in hybrids make more sense than full-electric cars in India. This is because electric car charging infrastructure has not well-developed here. Also, most electric cars have limited range, making them impractical for highway use. So, plug-in hybrids are well equipped to act like a bridge technology until charging infrastructure develops and battery range improves.