Volvo hails PHEVs ‘used as intended’

Customers are using the electric drive more than their ICE

Volvo hails PHEVs ‘used as intended’
The C40 is one of Volvo's PHEV options

There are often doubts when it comes to the contribution hybrid vehicles can make to reduce the automotive sector’s carbon footprint around how much drivers actually use the electric drive on their vehicles compared to the ICE. A nugget of data that emerged from Sino-Swedish OEM Volvo Cars’ Q4 analyst call may offer some comfort.

“It is reassuring to see — if we look at the usage of plug-in hybrids — they are used as intended,” says Volvo chief commercial officer Bjorn Annwall. “More than 50pc of the energy consumed in the cars comes from charged electricity, i.e. it is more of a fully electric car in the usage of the consumer then it is an ICE car, and that bodes well for the future.”

While Volvo is perhaps the most committed of what it calls 'heritage automakers' to the switch to BEVs — with a 50pc all-electric sales target as soon as 2025, and with BEV sales already above 50pc of Volvo’s mix in six national markets globally — it continues to stress the important role of hybrids on the electrification journey. “It is important to point out that the transition to full electrification happens at different timescales throughout the world,” says Anwall.

“Therefore, our plug-in hybrids and mild hybrids continue to play a very important role. They will get further love and care with smart investments. We will see exterior, interior and infotainment upgrades to these cars.
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“Plug-in hybrids continue to constitute an important bridge into the fully electric future. We see many consumers who take a plug-in hybrid as a first step into full electrification, and the next car they buy is a fully electric car,” Annwall continues.

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