Volvo’s First EV Will Reportedly Be a Compact Hatch
Volvo generated a lot of buzz when it announced plans for Polestar, the sub-brand that built its sporty models, to become an exclusively electric brand. The limited-edition Polestar 1 will be a performance hybrid, but the rest of its lineup will soon be electric-only. That doesn’t, however, mean Volvo will leave the electric cars to Polestar. The Swedish automaker plans its own EVs, most likely beginning with an electric hatchback.
Autocar reports that Volvo’s first all-electric vehicle will be a hatchback based on the Volvo 40.2 Concept that debuted about a year and a half ago. The report doesn’t name a source, but it does make sense. The 40.2 Concept was designed to fit on the Compact Modular Architecture, a platform Volvo says was designed with electrification in mind. When it revealed the new CMA platform, Volvo also said it planned to launch its first EV in 2019.
In concept form, the 40.2 had about a 217-mile range, presumably estimated using Europe’s generous NEDC standard. But when Henrik Green, Volvo’s head of R&D, spoke to Autocar about his company’s more general plans for EVs, he said Volvo hopes to offer more than 300 miles of range in a production EV. If so, Volvo’s new EV would be aimed squarely at the Tesla Model 3.
Design-wise, we like the 40.2’s daring, aggressive look. Considering how closely the production XC40 stuck to what we saw with the 40.1 concept, don’t be surprised if Volvo’s EV ends up looking a lot like the concept. After this hatch goes on sale, Volvo’s next EV is expected to be an all-electric version of the XC40, the report says.