Volvo will be introducing it's first all-electric car, a production version of the 40.2 concept which first showcased in May last year, according to an Autocar UK report. While the 40.1 concept went on to become the Volvo XC40, the 40.2 will evolve into the production version of Volvo's electric hatchback with very minimal design changes. The 40.2 concept was initially believed to be the base of what would become the next-generation V40 or the S40, but the concept's electric powertrain points to a different story. The coupe-style hatchback will be a part of the Swedish brand's 40 series, and will likely share the design language with its 40-badged siblings.
Volvo has confirmed that its first all-electric car will debut in 2019. Volvo boss Håkan Samuelsson told Autocar at the XC40 launch in September that it would arrive before any electric variants of existing models.
After the 40.2 concept's all-electric production version is launched, the second one in line will likely be an electric Volvo XC40. Volvo's new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) underpins the 40.2 concept and is also the platform which serves as the base for the company's smallest products.
Volvo 40.2 concept's electric powertrain offers a range of about 347 km, however, Volvo R&D boss Henrik Green said that Volvo is planning for a range of about 496 km - at par with rivals such as Volkswagen ID electric.
Green said: “That’s the area [of range] we’re aiming at. We’re in the middle of development and we are constantly chasing new steps. It’s quite different to developing a car compared to five or 10 years ago. You set a prerequisite three or four years before a car’s launch and you ran towards that target, and if you did that well, you came out with a competitive offer.
“But in this case, it feels like every month we are updating the requirement, trying to add new competitive edges to the car because the technology is moving so fast now on a lot of areas, so it’s much more of a moving target.”
Volvo electric cars will use a modular battery system, but the minimum range is yet to be decided upon. On the other hand, VW is also planning on a similar setup, which will be an entry-level ID hatchback with a range of about 400 km.
When asked whether stand-alone EVs or electric variants of existing models will be more successful, Green said: “It’s a good question. We’re aiming to address both those segments – those who really want to stand out explicitly to say ‘I’m driving an EV’ and those who buy an EV for the benefit of the technology in a more traditional car. It would be logical that the early adopters will choose the more expressive cars.”
Volvo announced last year that it will electrify its product lineup, becoming the first carmaker to make such a claim. The company said in July that it will begin reworking electric, hybrid, and mild-hybrid powertrains starting 2019.
Source: Autocar UK