Launch is expected for 2024.
Volvo is having a great 2021, but the Swedish automaker isn't stopping there. The company is going all-electric, and soon. To help it achieve that goal, Swedish battery company Northvolt is jumping on board to develop and produce more sustainable batteries that are tailored for the next generation of both Volvo and Polestar cars. The first one to receive the all-electric treatment as part of this collaboration will be the Volvo XC60, which was updated a couple of months ago for the 2022 model year. As you can imagine, that means there'll be a little wait, but it's not a long one. The all-electric XC60 will enter production as soon as 2024.
Before that car gets made, this new 50/50 joint venture will see Volvo Car Group and Northvolt aim to build a research and development center in Sweden. This is expected to start operations next year and is "intended to build on the battery expertise within both companies and develop next-generation, state-of-the-art battery cells, and vehicle integration technologies."
The joint venture will also establish a new, clean energy-powered gigafactory in Europe that has the potential capacity to produce up to 50-gigawatt hours (GWh) a year. Production on this is scheduled to begin two years after the electric XC60's release, so Volvo is aiming to procure 15 GWh of battery cells per year from the existing Northvolt Ett battery production facility in Skelleftea, Sweden, starting in 2024.
As we've previously reported, these plans will help Volvo achieve its goal of offering half of all its range in an electric-only format by 2025, with full electrification across all models targeted for 2030. With clean energy the source of choice for future models, Volvo wants to "create a truly climate neutral vehicle by 2030." We'll learn more when Volvo explains its "future technology roadmap" at the Volvo Cars Tech Moment on June 30. Hopefully, this event will also give us more details on what to expect from the next, all-electric Volvo XC60. Overcoming the likes of Tesla will be tough, but based on these investments, Volvo is one of the few automakers we'd bet on.