Motor Mouth: Volvo’s grand electric adventure begins

Volvo’s grand experiment continues. For those who don’t remember, the Chinese-owned Swedish automaker announced in 2017 — to much fanfare, as one can imagine — that all its future vehicles would be electric by 2019.

Now, admittedly, some of the resultant astonishment turned to cynicism when it turned out that, by “electric,” Volvo meant “electrified.” And that its supposed 100-per-cent electric fleet would be comprised almost entirely of so-called “mild” hybrids, which for those cynical enough to know what constitutes a true hybrid, are barely more than gas engines with a really big alternator.

Lost in that controversy, however, was the fact that Volvo would start an entirely new division — Polestar — that would not only be a completely separate brand but a 100-per-cent electric separate brand. Oh, it’s first product, the Polestar 1, is a plug-in hybrid. But — and this is a fairly big but — the 1 promises 150 kilometers of electric-only range, not only the longest range of any current PHEV but sufficient to be considered, for all intents and purposes, a true EV.


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