Don't mistake this with the upcoming new Polestar lineup.
Volvo has confirmed to Autocar that it will launch its first electric vehicle in 2019 to go head-to-head with the also upcoming production-spec Volkswagen ID lineup. And before we go any further, it needs to be clarified that this Volvo will not be branded as a Polestar. Instead, it will be a production version of the 40.2 concept, revealed in 2016. That concept, pictured here, is a hatchback-like crossover built around the automaker’s Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), the very same platform that underpins the new XC40 crossover.
Sometime after 2019 Volvo will launch its second EV, an all-electric version of the XC40. Details are still a bit sketchy at the moment as to how much of the 40.2 concept’s styling will remain in the production version, but upon a closer examination of that concept you’ll notice it looks about 90 percent production ready. Save for wheel size, side mirrors, and other minor styling bits here and there. Volvo R&D boss Henrik Green told Autocar the goal for the 40.2 is a 310-mile range, which is about the same figure VW is targeting for its ID range. Green also confirmed Volvo will utilize a modular battery system for its EVs, but a minimum range is still undecided.
“We are building a modular system to meet different customer sectors, both in battery size and electric motor configuration,” said Green. “The goal is to address the broader population with cost-efficient solutions and then address a more premium segment with more motor power and longer range.” Obviously the production 40.2 (a name change is likely) is just the start of Volvo’s electrification plans, and it has already announced plans to electrify its lineup, which will also include hybrids and plug-in hybrids. Having a modular platform that handles different battery sizes is key because Volvo, and all other automakers, understand we’re in an era of transition, moving from gasoline engines to EVs.
The minimum EV driving range has yet to be fully decided by customers, so Volvo is preparing itself accordingly. We'll hopefully learn more about the production 40.2 in Geneva in just over a month's time, as well as other new developments over at Volvo, which now has an infusion of Chinese cash thanks to parent company Geely.