Electric, not electrified, as you can already find several Volvo models boasting a plug and a combination of gasoline and electric propulsion. The automaker best remembered for keeping the 240 in production with only minimal changes for two decades now wants to pin the technology pedal to the floor, setting a goal of having 50 percent of its customers drive away in fully electric vehicles by 2025.
Ambitious, to say the least. The first electric model would come along in 2019, the automaker stated earlier this year, while keeping the identity of the model under wraps. We now know it’s the XC40, which should comes as no shock to anyone.
In an interview with Britain’s Autocar, the head of Volvo’s Polestar division, Thomas Ingenlath, said the newly launched compact crossover will forge a path for all other Volvo models to follow. (Models launched after 2019 will arrive with mild hybrid, hybrid, and battery electric variants.)
“It’s not a secret anymore 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.”
The Polestar 2 is the cheaper follow-up to the vastly expensive coupe unveiled last year by the newly standalone Polestar brand. The coupe finds its first carefully selected customers this year. A Polestar 2, arriving next year as an all-electric midsize sedan, should be much more attainable for “regular” buyers. It has the Tesla Model 3 in its sights.
Comments made by U.S. Volvo chief Lex Kerssemaker last year revealed the XC40 EV should travel roughly 250 miles between charges, retailing in the high $30k range. That seems to be the sweet spot most automakers are aiming for.
Unlike other automakers, Volvo prefers an EV stable that’s not separate from its regular offerings. All EVs bearing the brand’s name will be electric variants of existing models.
The stock XC40 made its sales appearance at the beginning of the year. Since January, some 3,588 Americans drove home an XC40, with 1,105 of the vehicles leaving dealer lots in May.