This model will be just the start of the company's eventual onslaught of electric vehicles.
Volvo is using Auto Shanghai as the stage for its announcement that the automaker’s first mass-produced electric vehicle for consumers arrives in 2019. The company will build it in China and will offer the model worldwide.
The China-built EV will use a version of Volvo's Compact Modular Architecture (CMA). It's a similar platform as the company's larger Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) that for the 90 Series models, and the components are close enough for products on each one to share some parts. Volvo currently uses CMA on the new XC60 and more vehicles with the underpinnings are on the way in the 40 and 60 Series.
Earlier in 2017, Volvo and Geely, its Chinese owner, announced that the EV would have a 100-kilowatt-hour battery capacity, and later reports indicated a driving range of at least 250 miles on a charge. The figure seems fairly conservative because a Tesla Model S 100D can go 335 miles. The company still doesn’t have a name for the vehicle, but prices would be from around £30,000.
Volvo eventually intends to have a whole range of EVs, ranging from models with as little as 134 hp to as much as 603 hp. Some of these future vehicles will also be available on the SPA platform. The company will need to proliferate on this tech quickly: its stated aim is to have a million EVs on the road by 2025.
The company chose China as the production location because it’s the world’s largest market for EVs. Growth in the segment could accelerate there as the government enacts stricter rules for regulating air quality. The country's leaders currently want 40 percent of traffic to be plug-in hybrids, EVs, or models with hydrogen fuel cells by 2030, which would amount to 15.2 million vehicles.