Okay, everyone pretend to be surprised.
It seems that at a safety event in Sweden, carmaker Volvo revealed that it would be launching its zero-emissions variant of the popular XC40 compact SUV by year-end. This would put the XC40, the smallest Volvo currently available, ahead of its stablemates in terms of jumping onto the EV bandwagon, despite both the CMA platform (on which the XC40 is built) and SPA platform (which underpins all the other Volvos) being designed with battery-electric powertrains in mind.
As Volvo moves to electrify its entire lineup, and boost its EV sales to account for half its global sales by 2025, the electrification of the XC40 is nothing more than a sensible move. Furthermore, while the majority of the Volvo range appeals to the sensible and mature, the XC40’s funky design and imaginative innovations means that its target audience is far younger, and also more likely to make the switch to zero-emissions.
The Volvo XC40 will be the first battery-electric model from the marque (that’s available to buy at least), though the crown of being the first BEV of the Volvo Group goes to the Polestar 2, which was revealed last month at the Geneva motor show. Both cars, which share the same Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) under the skin, are expected to hit the road in 2020, according to Automotive News Europe.
CMA’s position as the EV spearhead will likely mean that models by sister-brand Lynk & Co (which uses CMA on its 01, 02, and 03 models) will welcome all-electric variants of its lineup in the coming months. Lynk & Co is an important brand for overlord-company Geely and Volvo Cars, given that the nascent marque managed to clock in excess of 120,000 sales last year in China alone. If EV gets chucked towards Lynk & Co, greater economies can be enjoyed across the Volvo Group thanks to the added volume.
On the subject of Geely and electric vehicles, the company inked a deal with Daimler last week to take up some 50% of loss-making concern smart, with the intent of relaunching the marque in China as a premium microcar brand with a full-electric lineup. Given that China is presently the world’s largest EV market with an unending appetite for urban-friendly machines, it’s possible that smart could take on some of Volvo’s EV technology at a later date.