Swedish luxury carmaker Volvo said it will do a local assembly of its plug-in hybrid cars in India by end of 2019. This will make India the third country after Sweden and Malaysia to have a local assembly of the brand's plug-in hybrid cars.
It will start with the local assembly of one model, the XC90 PHEV, and will add four models over three years to expand the hybrid range. These vehicles allow a user to cover a distance of 40 km using electric power upon full charge after which the vehicle shifts to fossil fuel using the hybrid technology. That makes these vehicles cleaner by 60 per cent, compared to a fossil fuel car, it said. The battery in these vehicles can be charged using an external source of power.
Volvo globally has decided to phase out conventional fuel powertrains and focus on electrification. The company said it is committed to a goal of featuring some form of electric propulsion in its models from 2019 onwards. The carmaker wants to sell a total of 1 million electrified vehicles globally by 2025.
Charles Frump, managing director, Volvo Cars India, said, "The localisation of plug-in hybrids marks the future of electrification for us. Our customers are increasingly becoming aware about the rise in pollution levels and degrading environment... till the time we have a supporting infrastructure, plug-in hybrids offer the intermediate solution."
The plug-in hybrid will be rolled out from the company's assembly facility in Bengaluru. Frump claimed Volvo will be the first brand in the country to locally assemble a plug-in hybrid car.
Volvo said it will bring a full electric car to India within months of the global launch sometime in 2019. The luxury carmaker happens to be the fastest-growing luxury brand in the domestic market, though on a lower base. In the first 10 months of 2018 calendar year, the brand sold 2,194 vehicles in India, growing 40 per cent year-on-year. It sells a total of 10 models in the domestic market, of which three are assembled.