Volvo Car South Africa has announced that its local range of vehicles is now almost entirely electrified as the Swedish luxury firm moves a step closer to its global ambition of transforming into a fully electric car company by 2030.
The updated South African line-up now comprises predominantly all-electric, plug-in hybrid and mild-hybrid options, with the full fleet of freshly improved vehicles being launched at a media event held at the tallest building in Africa, The Leonardo in Sandton.
Greg Maruszewski, Managing Director at Volvo Car South Africa, said the move is in line with the Gothenburg-based company’s global strategy and affords South African motorists the opportunity to experience the various benefits of the three stages of vehicle electrification.
“Our mild-hybrid vehicles boast reduced tailpipe emissions, improved fuel economy and stronger on-road performance, making them ideal stepping stones to our plug-in hybrids – which add the major advantage of a pure-electric driving mode – and ultimately our all-electric offering. In short, our completely renewed line-up covers all of the electrification bases,” said Maruszewski.
The vehicles tested by journalists at the media event included Volvo’s first fully electric car, the acclaimed XC40 P8 Recharge, as well as the XC60 T8 Recharge and XC90 T8 Recharge plug-in hybrids. The B5- and B6-badged mild-hybrid variants that make up the remainder of the XC60 and XC90 line-ups were also on hand to sample, giving journalists the chance to experience the clever Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) employed by these variants.
According to Maruszewski, Volvo Car South Africa’s decision to shift its primary focus to hybrid vehicles is based on the belief that this type of powertrain currently represents the ideal solution for the majority of the company’s local customers. With the S90 and V90 Cross Country line-ups now also featuring exclusively mild-hybrid powertrains, the only purely petrol-powered options that remain in Volvo’s local range are the T-badged derivatives in the popular XC40 line-up.
Maruszewski further pointed to not only the world-class safety technology intrinsic to Volvo’s vehicles but also the class-leading connectivity available in various models, including the company’s latest Android-powered infotainment system, which ships complete with built-in Google apps and services.
In global terms, Volvo’s electrified line-up continues its rapid growth, with Recharge models making up 34% of the company’s global sales volume in the fourth quarter of 2021 and plug-in hybrids accounting for 28%.