Gothenburg, Sweden - Although Volvo has created a specialised electric car brand called Polestar, it has never actually launched a fully electric vehicle under its own brand, but that’s set to change next month when the Swedish carmaker pulls the covers off its battery-powered XC40.
Volvo is remaining quiet on powertrain and range details for now, but it does say that the new model will be the first Volvo to feature a new Advanced Driver Assistance Systems sensor platform. Consisting of an array of radars, cameras and ultrasonic sensors, Volvo says it lays the foundation for future autonomous drive technologies.
As is the norm with full EVs, the batteries are integrated into the floor of the electric XC40. Volvo also had to develop a new safety structure, which includes a built-in crumple zone around the batteries. Engineers also had to redesign and reinforce the frontal structure, to compensate for the absence of an engine, while modifications were also made to the rear end.
“Regardless of what drives a car forward, be it an electric machine or combustion engine, a Volvo must be safe,” said Volvo’s safety head Malin Ekholm. “The fully electric XC40 will be one of the safest cars we have ever built.”
“The fundamentals around safety are the same for this car as for any other Volvo. People are inside, and the car needs to be designed to be safe for them,” Ekholm added.