It will come hot on the heels of the Model 3, so hopefully Volvo gets it right.
Plenty of news spawns from the sidelines of auto shows like the recent 2017 Geneva Motor Show. Some pieces of information are more ambiguous and others concrete, and while the news Volvo USA CEO Lex Kerssemakers told Automotive News lies somewhere in between, we can place our bets that it will become a reality sooner than later. Despite the expected declawing of America’s fuel economy standards, the rest of the world will move forward with Earth friendly propulsion technologies, and that includes Volvo.
According to Kerssemakers, Volvo’s first electric car will have a range of about 250 miles and exist as a convincing reason to sell off a Tesla Model 3 reservation given its $35,000-$40,000 base price. Unfortunately for the Swedish automaker, Volvo’s EV won’t hit the market until 2019, over a year after the Model 3 and other Tesla competitors are slated to go on sale. However, the car will be built to course through the network of factory, dealership, and customer driveway as fast as possible to ensure the automaker maintains a foothold. "That's what I put in as the prerequisite for the United States," Kerssemakers said. "If I want to make a point in the United States, if I want to make volumes, that's what I believe I need.”
Kerssemakers has left us no clue as to what the car will look like, with all body styles, from sedan to SUV, up for grabs. Another decision Volvo has to make is whether or not to market its electric vehicle as part of a standalone sub brand or not. Fortunately, the automaker will not have to invest as much time to design and build the car as its competitors because it can use its modular platforms as a base. The biggest hurdle, according to Kerssemakers, is range. He claims that Americans like to have more EV range than needed in order to feel as if there is a safety net. "Why are people reluctant to buy a full electric car?" he said. "It's between the ears. It's that they believe there's not sufficient range.” Power on, Volvo.