The Volvo XC40 is slated to be the first fully electric revealed by the Swedish car maker.
This was confirmed by Thomas Ingenlath, Volvo's design chief, speaking at the all-new Volvo S60 sports saloon reveal.
This comes as a logical and strong move by the company since Volvo will, with the quirky XC40, certainly appeal to the younger -- more up-to-date with technology -- would-be ownership base.
The vehicle is slated to be revealed after Polestar, Volvo's sub-brand, launches its second car, the 2, due sometime in 2019. Additionally, after the reveal of the all-electric XC40, Volvo will follow with its bigger brother, the XC90, in the same all-electric attire.
Interestingly, Ingenlath stated that Volvo would only produce electric versions of their current cars, rather than building an entirely new electric-only platform from scratch. While surprising at first, this comes as a prudent business decision by the car maker. After all, Volvo just recently revamped what is seemingly their entire model range, thus negating any need to follow the same path that companies such as Volkswagen took with their ID line-up.
“It’s not a secret any more that the first full electric Volvo is on its way with the XC40 coming," said Ingenlath. "It will arrive very soon after the Polestar 2. That is the first to come that’s not exotic. 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."
"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.
“You could say that is different to a lot of the mass-production brands. But I have a hard time to understand how their plan will work in the long run. Electrification is the future of the automotive industry, so how do you handle that as soon as you come to the majority of electric cars? How do you handle it in your portfolio? I think it’s much more natural to say it’s a powertrain variant that over time will take up the majority of the sold vehicles."
Both the Volvo XC40 and Volvo XC90 are expected to be released with lithium-ion battery power, like their siblings from the sister brand Polestar. The XC40 EV is set to join the XC40 plug-in hybrid in the Volvo's product range, offering customers more options for their brand new mid-size crossover, allowing them to match their specific needs.
The decision to produce both a hybrid an all-electric version of the Volvo XC40 and all their upcoming models goes hand in hand with the aim set by Volvo to capture 50% of the company's sales volume from fully electric vehicles, all done by 2025. While this may seem like a bold goal, in reality, judging by the recently introduced models, the level of sophistication in both design & technology, it seems not so far out of reach.
New Volvo XC40
"We definitely don’t want to bring something that we’ve so successfully just launched like an XC40 to an end just because combustion engines will disappear," he said. "To look at new formats, new bodystyles and non-traditional elements, we founded Polestar to take care of that end of the scope. We developed that strategy: full electrification of the Volvo range, making it a natural part of the offer, and at the same time developing new, unconventional elements in the Polestar brand."
Eventually, every Volvo will be offered as a mild hybrid, hybrid or battery-electric powertrain variant. Furthermore, the company is said not to be revealing any diesel variants of forthcoming models. While somewhat radical, this philosophy will certainly reap the company benefits and keep safeguard the environment a bit more. Combine that with the sheer appeal of the new Volvo models, and the Chinese Geely owned car maker may, in the end, become one of the most important key players in the future car world.
Meanwhile, grab a look at the recently revealed 2019 Volvo XC40 media gallery right below.