But it won’t launch until after the Polestar 2 goes on sale in 2019.
Now that the new S60 has been revealed, the next-generation V40 will be the last new Volvo launch before the end of the decade. In the absence of new models, the Swedish automaker will be putting its plan to electrify every existing model into action. By 2025, Volvo wants fully electric cars to make up half its sales. Speaking to Autocar during the reveal event for the S60 sedan, Volvo design chief Thomas Ingenlath confirmed the company’s first fully electric car will be a version of the XC40.
According to the design chief, the electric XC40 won’t go on sale until “very soon after” the launch of the Polestar 2, which is due in 2019. An electric version of the next generation XC90 will also follow when it goes into production at Volvo’s newly-opened factory in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2021. Unlike Volkswagen’s upcoming I.D. range, Volvo will only produce electric versions of models in its current lineup. "That will be the masterplan of how electrification will come to the Volvo product range,” said Ingenlath. “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." Like Polestar’s cars, both all-electric Volvos will use lithium-ion battery power, with the XC40 EV joining the existing XC40 plug-in hybrid. While Volvo will focus on electric versions of its current line-up, Ingenlath hinted the Polestar sub-brand could be used to develop bolder EV-only cars.
"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 body styles 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."