By on March 13, 2017

xc40 concept

Though its debut will lag that of Chevrolet’s Bolt and the Tesla Model 3, Volvo’s first entry into the world of all-electric vehicles looks to be right on par with the current generation’s maximum range and requisite financial investment. Starting between $35,000 and $40,000 when it debuts in 2019, the Swedish EV should be capable of at least 250 miles between charges.

Away from the main stage of the Geneva International Motor Show, CEO of Volvo America Lex Kerssemakers indicated to journalists that the standards set by the Bolt would be the benchmark. “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.”

What it will look like remains unconfirmed, however. Volvo hasn’t given an indication if the EV will be a standalone unit or a refitted model from the company’s existing lineup. Based on the narrow timeline, the smart money is on one of its smaller cars being converted to a BEV — perhaps the upcoming compact XC40. Still, depending on where the model’s development process stands, Volvo could come to market with something unique by 2019. The C30 DRIVe Electric concept came out in 2010, closely resembling a production unit, so the company has definitely been thinking about EVs for a while.

Kerssemakers admitted that the schedule would be challenging, but claimed that Volvo’s modular platforms would make it possible. The company’s Scalable Product Architecture underpins the majority if its new vehicles, but the CEO was likely referring to its Compact Modular Architecture, which underpins the XC40.

The company also has a Modular Electrification Platform currently in development specifically for BEVs, but details on that are extremely limited. It hasn’t specified where that project is in terms of completion, just that it provides modular building blocks for electrification than will allow Volvo to deliver vehicles ranging between 100 and 450 kW of propulsive power, with battery packs of “up to 100 kWh in size.”

Volvo could certainly build a larger EV off the larger platform but the added weight would likely diminish range without being supplemented by a large battery pack. The price point Kerssemakers mentioned takes that off the table and replaces it with something smaller. He’s not about to sacrifice range for legroom.

“Why are people reluctant to buy a full electric car?” Kerssemakers said. “It’s between the ears. It’s that they believe there’s not sufficient range.”

[Source: Automotive News] [Image: Volvo]

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22 Comments on “Volvo’s First Electric Model Will Roll Out With a Minimum 250-mile Range...”

  • avatar

    “Starting between $35,000 and $40,000 when it debuts in 2019, the Swedish EV should be capable of at least 250 miles between charges.”

    That’s a Chinese EV, not a Swedish EV.

  • avatar

    Depending on availability and pricing this could be a candidate to replace our C-Max when it comes off lease in 2019. We’d really like a full EV for our around-town car but so far the options are either impractical or too expensive.

    • 0 avatar

      Dont you wanna know what they next Cmax will be like…I sure do..I think Ford will give it a more honest effort next time instead of quick fix..Dont get me wrong I am thinking of getting one for a second car (I like it that much) but its obvious Ford did this in a hurry with what they had.

      • 0 avatar

        Absolutely. Want to know if the next C-Max will come to the US, too.

        I love ours but it’s clear the electrification was added after the fact. That has one major bad effect (comically small cargo area) and one minor good effect (much better weight distribution than your average FWD car).

  • avatar

    Will those continue to look like cute renders even when they’re on the streets? I think such an effect would be very distinguishing.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Very nice.

    However, nobody but Tesla has solved the long-distance charging issue that faces the 100+ mile EVs. The dearth of charger location density among the various quick DC charger formats puts all these EVs on a short leash.

    Tesla realized early on that they couldn’t count on anyone but themselves to install a coast-to-coast charging network.

    • 0 avatar

      With the EV market the way it is today, chances are if you have an EV you also have a gas car that gets used for road trips.

      This will be more of an issue later, when EVs’ purchase price comes down to a level where they are fully competitive with gas cars for one-car households.

      • 0 avatar

        This. Like who totally doesn’t keep a corded drill around for when you’re just effing sick of having cordless ones die on you or when you’re prepping a lot of pieces at a stationary workplace or when you have to hammer-drill a whole lot into brick or concrete?

        Just common sense!

      • 0 avatar

        @dal20402: “With the EV market the way it is today, chances are if you have an EV you also have a gas car that gets used for road trips.”

        I have ICE cars in addition to my EV, but the problem is that the EV is so addicting that I’m willing to put up with charging it midway on a long trip rather than leaving it at home. So, the ICE cars are going to be replaced by EVs in the next few years. Probably 300+ mile range cars, so on the rare occasion when I take a long trip I won’t need to depend on public charging.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX


        What’s the point of having a 250-300 mile EV if I can’t take it on an extended trip? That’s the range of many gas tanks today, but gas tanks can be filled anywhere, anytime.

        I *had* an EV which was a great city car (Leaf). It *never* ventured more than 25 miles from my home because there weren’t any reliable Fast DC chargers beyond that, and that was only if I drove east.

        Tesla is very close to having Superchargers available to permit driving anywhere in the US. Chevy’s Bolt, not so much. So unless you live on the coasts, the Bolt driver has to stay fairly close to home.

    • 0 avatar


      It also gives Tesla control over the maintenance. Some networks and charger owners don’t seem to care. Some of the Nissan dealers in my area are horrible at maintaining their CHAdeMO chargers. Some of the older Nissan L3 units are starting to have issues and if they are at a dealer, they stay down for months.

      The one somewhat bright spot in the non-Tesla world is EvGo. They make an effort to maintain their network and in my personal experience, they’ve done well. They also tend to place their units at malls, so plenty of food and stores. Good security at after hours too.

      Still, Tesla is the gold standard of charging networks. No idiot dealers ICEing the spaces with used cars or having an attitude that they are doing you a favor by offering chargers.

      I’m leaning toward a Porsche EV, but only because I don’t think that I will need public charging. If I thought I’d be doing cross country trips, then I’d lean towards Tesla. Hopefully, it’s not just a rumor that the European Manufacturers are in talks with Tesla and maybe we will have a unified charging network:

    • 0 avatar

      I thought IF mainstream automakers began to really feel like they wanted in on this, they would simply force their dealers into carving out spaces for charging vehicles.
      Seems like this would be a simple thing to do and enforce. If Ford or GM each offered charging spots at their dealers, the available needed would be fewer and available for people driving across the country.

      This would really end the range anxiety.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        For example, some Nissan dealers lock their gates at night. Some of their own personnel park serviced cars in those spaces because they’re close to the main building. As mcs mentioned, if their sole fast charger is broken, it just waits until someone shows up to fix it, with no urgency.

        The mfrs don’t police such behavior. Frankly, they never will, when they’re printing money by producing trucks and SUVs.

        Tesla is right when they say that other mfrs’ EV sincerity is compromised by their long history with ICEs.

  • avatar

    If they can meet that pricing target, then damn, son, things are about to get interesting. That’s Chevy Bolt money (unless they’re figuring the price with the tax credit already included). What’s the secret? Made in China and available only in lots of 5000 via

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    The last SUV I had was a 93 Land Cruiser. It could’t get 250 miles of range out of a tank of gas. If these Range figures hold up this is going to get interesting for sure.

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