Volvo Design Chief Confirms XC40 As Company’s First Fully Electric Model

Volvo’s first fully electric model will be a version of the XC40, as confirmed by the company’s design chief Thomas Ingenlath.

Ingenlath spoke at the reveal of the new S60 to Autocar, confirming that the battery electric version of the Volvo XC40 will arrive after Polestar launches its second model in 2019, which will be simply called the 2.

The electric Volvo XC40 will be then followed by the EV version of the next-generation XC90, set to go into production in South Carolina in 2021. The company’s design chief added that Volvo would only produce electric versions of its current cars, rather than building electric-only models.

“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,” Ingenlath added.

Bolder EVs will come from Polestar only

The Volvo XC40 EV will join the plug-in hybrid XC40 in the range. Volvo targets 50 percent of its total sales to be battery electric cars by 2025. Ingelath said that Polestar could be used to develop and offer bolder electric-only models.

“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,” Ingelath concluded.

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