Volvo's First Electric Model Will Roll Out With a Minimum 250-mile Range
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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