White Volvo XC90 Hybrid SUV driving past a city building

Hybrid - The future is here

A hybrid is a car that is powered by a combination of electric power and a combustion engine. By 2019 all our new cars will be either hybrids or fully electric cars.

Taking the big leap in automotive development

The history of the electric vehicle goes back to the dawn of automation in the first half of the 19th century. The technology was out-performed primarily due to restrictions in how far you could travel, and difficulties in charging compared to easy access to gasoline and diesel fuel.

Now, the time for the reemergence of electrification has come. At Volvo Cars, we have worked with electrification for forty years, and now we are taking that work to its natural conclusion. By 2019, all new models will have an electric or hybrid option. Our entire model line-up of vehicles will move into electrification, and between 2019 and 2021 we will launch five pure electric models. All models will be fully electric, plug in hybrid cars, or mild hybrids where a battery helps a conventional engine achieve greater fuel economy.
Volvo XC90 Hybrid car charging on a city street

The bigger picture

The move towards electric cars, marks the end of an era of pure combustion (ICE) engines, and the beginning of an electrified era. In the future, all our cars will be electric to some degree. This is however only part of our commitment to move towards lowering emissions. We have also pledged that we will have climate neutral manufacturing by 2025.

Volvo XC90 T8 eAWD Plug-In Hybrid

In Canada, we currently offer the XC90 T8 eAWD Plug-In Hybrid which gives you amazing performance and fuel efficiency. And because we have placed the battery centrally along the transmission tunnel, the XC90 T8 eAWD Plug-In Hybrid also handles supremely well.

The Plug-in Hybrid engine gives you 400 hp of power and five different driving modes. The Pure mode uses the electric engine as much as possible up to 125kph, thereby reducing fuel consumption and emissions. You don’t have to worry about running out of power though, the gasoline engine is always there for you when you need it. Hybrid mode is designed for comfort. It combines the electric motor and the gasoline engine. It combines power to either front of back wheels, or in parallel, to give you the performance you need. The Power mode uses the combined forces of gasoline and electric at the same time to all four wheels, while steering, transmission and brakes are tuned for sportiness. The eAWD (all-wheel drive) mode improves traction, and in addition, the Off Road mode engages an electronically-controlled, limited slip differential function and can help you negotiate poor roads at speeds below 40kph. Your XC90 can be a silent-running zero-emission city car, a blistering performance SUV, a supremely versatile seven-seater or a reassuring companion in challenging conditions.
Find out more about the XC90 Plug-In Hybrid
Electrification: a bold step forward

Hybrid, Plug-in hybrid or electrical vehicle?

The terminology of new technology can often be confusing. What do we mean with a plug-in hybrid, and what differentiates that from a regular hybrid or a mild hybrid? Unsurprisingly, the commonality of these technologies is that they use some kind of electrical engine.

A hybrid uses a combination of a combustion engine and an electrical engine. The combustion engine is used both to run the car for lack of battery power, but it also recharges the battery, and thereby emissions are reduced. A battery can also be recharged by braking the car, this is called regenerative braking.

A plug-in hybrid can also be plugged into the electrical grid and thereby further reduce the need for use of the gasoline engine. But various technologies work in different ways, some hybrids have connected the engines to different wheel sets, offering electric drive on only one, whereas other offer electric drive on all four wheels.

A mild hybrid is a hybrid that doesn’t offer full electric drive, instead the electric engine is there to support the combustion engine and reduce emissions.

The benefit of hybrids is that you never really run the risk of running out of battery. As batteries and recharging technology have become more advanced, fully electric vehicles are viable solutions for many car owners. As the name suggests, a fully electric vehicle (EV), or electric drive vehicle, is a car that runs entirely on electrical power.

It’s worth noting that electrical engines transfer power in a different way than a combustion engine. They deliver full torque from the get-go and over a wide RPM range. This gives electric cars the benefit of excellent torque and acceleration in comparison to traditional engines.