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.
Gallery: Volvo Battery Electric Platform
VOLVO’S FIRST ALL-ELECTRIC CAR WILL BE MADE IN CHINA
Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, will build its first fully electric car in China, the company announced today at Auto Shanghai in China.
The all-new model will be based on Volvo’s Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) for smaller cars, and will be available for sale in 2019 and exported globally from China, Volvo said.
The decision to make its first electric car in China highlights the central role China will play in Volvo’s electrified future and underlines China’s growing sophistication as a manufacturing centre for the automotive industry.
“Volvo Cars fully supports the Chinese government’s call for cleaner air as outlined in the latest five-year plan. It is fully in-line with our own core values of environmental care, quality and safety,” said Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive of Volvo Cars. “We believe that electrification is the answer to sustainable mobility.”
China is the world’s largest sales market for electrified cars, and has ambitious targets to expand sales of fully electric and hybrid cars in order to address congestion and air-quality issues in its cities.
Volvo has a commitment to sell a total of 1m electrified scars – including fully electric cars and hybrids – by 2025. It is developing a fully electric car on its Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) as well. The Swedish company also plans to offer plug-in hybrid versions of every model.
Volvo has three manufacturing facilities in China: in Daqing, which makes its 90 series cars; Chengdu, which makes its 60 series cars; and Luqiao, which will make its 40 series cars.