Volvo’s Biggest Is Due for a Green Makeover
Volvo’s XC90 midsize crossover is both a tony vehicle and a solid seller, but the push into electrification that began with the crossover’s second generation will be completed in its third.
The automaker has announced that the third-gen XC90, which arrives in 2022, will ditch gas-only powerplants for good.
Volvo only revealed its first fully electric vehicle — the XC40 Recharge small crossover — last year, with sales commencing in 2020, but the company anticipates drawing 50 percent of its volume from EVs by 2025. That’s a heady goal.
Helping Volvo in its greening quest is the newest SPA architecture underpinning the next generation of 60- and 90-series vehicles. It’s a versatile platform capable of accommodating different propulsion sources. As the third-gen XC90 borrows this platform, customers will be able to choose between an EV version and hybrid variants. The model first donned plug-in capability when the T8 PHEV appeared partway through 2015.
Autocar reports that, in confirming the XC90’s electrified future, Volvo Cars CEO Håkan Samuelsson said Europeans can expect more members of the XC40 family — though a future small EV won’t carry the XC40 name.
As availability rises, the automaker’s plug-in sales are on the rise, at least in the emissions-averse Euro market. PHEVs made up 20 percent of Volvo’s European sales in the last quarter of 2019, the company claims.
New additions like the XC40 and revamped XC60 helped Volvo boost U.S. volume by 10.2 percent last year, with 2019 becoming the brand’s best sales showing in 12 years. Leading the pack in terms of volume is the range-topping XC90, which saw sales grow 13 percent last year.
[Images: Volvo Cars]