Volvo’s first fully electric vehicle (EV) will be the XC40 SUV, with the company confirming that there won’t be a standalone EV model.
The news came at the reveal of the new Volvo S60, with Volvo design chief Thomas Ingenlath telling Autocar that it will be launched shortly after the Polestar 2.
“We’ll start with XC40 and then on it will come step after step into our model range. The next car will be the next-generation XC90,” said Ingenlath. “That will be the masterplan of how electrification will come to the Volvo product range. We will not establish products beside our hybrids, we will introduce electrification as a powertrain variant within the existing portfolio.”
This is a slightly different business model than its subsidiary, Polestar, which will launch with only electric vehicles. The Polestar 3 will be an SUV that should be introduced after the sports-focussed Polestar 1 and passenger saloon, the Polestar 2.
Volvo’s EV development is running in parallel with Polestar, with the company aiming to have 50 per cent of its sales to be EV variants of its lineup by 2025.
It may seem an aggressive plan given that it’s only seven years away from that goal, but from next year, Volvo has said it would add an electrified version of every single model in its lineup.
Of course, that doesn’t mean a raft of EVs, rather it includes plug-in hybrids. The XC40 is the first vehicle in Volvo’s range to get a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variant, with others to follow.
Using the same technology as Lynk & Co’s 01 and 02 SUVs – also owned by Geely – the XC40 T5 Twin Engine, as it’s known, combines Volvo’s 1.5-litre three cylinder engine (from the XC40 T3) with an electric motor.
We’re still awaiting confirmation of the outputs, but they’re expected to be a combined 247bhp and 295lb-ft of torque.
The new XC40 EV, meanwhile, will get a lithium ion battery pack, and should get a range of around 200-250 miles.
The shift to electrification has enabled Volvo to leave behind diesel completely, with the company not bringing out any more diesels when the current models are superseded.