Volvo says EV powertrain won’t compromise the XC40’s safety cred.
Volvo’s first all-electric vehicle will be the XC40 subcompact crossover
The first pure electric vehicle to wear a Volvo badge will be a battery-powered XC40 compact crossover, company officials revealed to Automotive News. Volvo’s Polestar electric subbrand introduced the battery-electric Polestar 2 last month at the Geneva Auto Show.
The all-electric version of the XC40 will go on sale by 2020. Both the electric XC40 and Polestar 2 are based on the Compact Modular Architecture developed jointly with Volvo’s Chinese corporate parent, Geely, and shared with Lynk&Co, a Geely-Volvo venture that sold over 120,000 vehicles last year.
Power ratings projected for the electric XC40 aren’t yet available. The XC40’s platform-sibling Polestar 2 is rated at 408 horsepower and 487 lb ft of torque, with 275 miles of range. Since Volvo projects a more sedate brand image than Polestar, assuming it uses the same battery pack you can expect the battery powered XC40 to have less power, and potentially greater range.
The news follows Volvo’s announcement last month that in Europe it will be offering two plug-in-hybrid powertrains for the XC40, starting with the confusingly named T5 Twin Engine. Autocar reports that the T5 Twin will be a hybrid version of the T3 1.5-liter turbocharged three cylinder engine jointly developed by Geely and Volvo, with combined ratings of 247 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. That is not to be confused with Volvo’s T5 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder that powers the XC60. A T4 Twin Engine XC40 will follow the T5 Twin model.
The move represents a start to the first stage of the firm’s plan to generate half of its worldwide sales with fully battery powered cars by 2025. The remaining half of Volvo’s global sales presumably will be split between gasoline-powered vehicles, hybrids, and whatever diesels survive as the European market pulls back from compression ignition due to concerns over particulate emissions. PHEVs currently make up 10 to 15 percent of the Volvo brand’s worldwide sales. Hakan Samuelsson, Volvo CEO, expects that figure to grow to about 25 percent within the model lines that offer hybridization.