Volvo's first electric car due in 2019 will be a version of the XC40 compact crossover SUV, the Swedish brand's former design boss Thomas Ingenlath revealed to Autocar in an interview published last week.
Ingenlath, who currently heads the Polestar electric performance brand, said Volvo plans to launch electric versions of existing models rather than standalone EVs like rivals such as Jaguar with the I-Pace and Mercedes-Benz with its upcoming EQ range.
“It’s not a secret any more that the first full electric Volvo is on its way with the XC40 coming," Ingenlath told Autocar. "It will arrive very soon after the Polestar 2.”
The Polestar 2, expected to be a small sedan, will be the second model for the recently established Polestar brand. It's also due in 2019. Polestar's first model is the Polestar 1 plug-in hybrid coupe which is priced from $155,000 and starts production in early 2019.
Volvo CMA modular compact car platform in electric configuration
As for the electric XC40, it is expected to offer more than 250 miles of range and cost between $35,000 and $40,000. It's possible Volvo will offer more than one battery option, a strategy made popular by Tesla.
The CMA platform that underpins Volvo's compact cars was designed from the onset to support electric powertrains, in addition to plug-in hybrid and conventional powertrains.
Volvo in 2017 confirmed that its first electric car would be built at a plant in China and sold globally, including here in the United States. The move makes sense considering China is already the biggest market for electric cars and demand there is expected to experience significant growth due to incentives and regulations that promote EVs.
In his interview with Autocar, Ingenlath confirmed that the next-generation XC90 due early next decade will also offer an electric option. The vehicle is also known to be coming with Level 4 self-driving capability and is set for production at Volvo's plant in Charleston, South Carolina, where the next-generation S60 has just started production.