The Swedish marque will bring its first electric vehicle – the XC40 EV – Down Under before the end of next year alongside the plug-in hybrid variant.
Volvo Cars Australia has confirmed it plans to launch the upcoming electric version of its XC40 SUV at the end of 2020, even though the new model hasn’t even been revealed yet.
The Swedish marque’s local PR boss, Greg Bosnich, said Volvo Australia will introduce the new T5 Twin Engine PHEV and all-electric versions of the XC40 in “the later part of 2020”.
While the company has been tight-lipped about its first electric vehicle (if you discount its electrified Polestar spinoff), we reckon the XC40 EV will feature a version of the powertrain in the Polestar 2, which it shares its CMA platform with.
The Polestar 2 (above), likely a preview for the next-generation S40 sedan, features a dual-motor electric drive system developing combined outputs of 300kW and 660Nm – our guess is that the XC40 EV will forego one of the motors and be front-wheel drive.
If you take out one motor and cut the Polestar 2’s outputs in half, you have 150kW and 330Nm driving the front axle in the XC40 EV – reasonable given the Hyundai Kona Electric makes 150kW and 395Nm from a similar setup.
Where the Volvo will really benefit though from its shared architecture with the Polestar sedan is its battery – the ‘2’ uses a 78kWh lithium-ion pack rated for around 500 kilometres under WLTP testing.
Take out the power-sucking second motor on the rear axle in the Volvo SUV and you could potentially see a claimed range approaching 550-600km.
Further details regarding the XC40 EV will be revealed when the car debuts in production form – expected by the end of this year.
When it arrives in Australia, the XC40 EV will have few natural competitors, given the likes of the Jaguar I-Pace and Mercedes-Benz EQC are a segment size above and the Tesla Model Y isn’t expected to arrive Down Under until at least 2021.
Pricing would likely be at the pointy end of the local XC40 range, too. Currently, the most expensive variant is the petrol-powered T5 R-Design, which kicks off at $56,990 plus on-road costs.
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Volvo XC40: Upcoming EV confirmed for Australia