As the world slowly returns to normal after many months of new challenges and sudden changes due to the coronavirus, the automotive industry is keen on getting on with deadlines and even fast-tracking projects due to the delays and cost-cutting across different manufacturers.
Volvo has reaffirmed its commitment to launching at least one electric vehicle per year until 2025 and is the latest to give a statement regarding the direction of the Swedish manufacturer. Talking to Auto Express UK, Senior Vice President of Design at Volvo, Robin Page, has said that the focus on electrification will help diversify its portfolio and open up new opportunities in other segments.
Gallery: Volvo XC40 Electric
“Moving into electrification gives us an opportunity to rethink what cars are. We’re more open to not just repeating what we’ve done before but also looking at opportunities both in bigger and smaller cars,” Page explained. “As a design team we’re always exploring beyond the obvious, and of course with electric vehicles, it brings opportunities and challenges in terms of aerodynamics and balancing with people’s needs in terms of space.”
But Page also knows that customers want SUVs, with their higher ride height and roof, allowing for versatility and practicality for all types of consumers. “The tricky part of the future is the SUV world because the traditional SUV is about a high hip point and roof,” Page said. “As we go into EVs, of course, the value of range and aerodynamics becomes a real point. Volvo is looking for ways to integrate the characteristics of an SUV with the technology to meet sustainability and CO2 targets.
“How does the world look when you have people wanting that high position and all the usability of an SUV, balanced with the fact they want range? Clean aerodynamics.” Of course, those clean aerodynamics that you can find in SUVs tend to mean a coupe-like silhouette. That's not necessarily the case for Volvo, but we can expect at least something similar with sleeker proportions.