Volvo has announced that it will debut its first fully electric vehicle soon. The twin-motor XC40 will be fully revealed next month and Volvo says it will be one of the safest cars on the road.
"Regardless of what drives a car forward, be it an electric machine or combustion engine, a Volvo must be safe,” says Malin Ekholm, head of safety at Volvo Cars. “The fully electric XC40 will be one of the safest cars we have ever built.”
Volvo says that removing the engine from the XC40 added new concerns and requirements when it came to meeting internal safety requirements. A big, solid, and heavy internal combustion engine makes up a large part of the crash structure of a vehicle, as a result, the company said, it had to completely redesign the frontal structure of the XC40.
The new battery, the specs of which haven't yet been revealed, gets a new aluminum safety cage around it to protect the cells in the event of a collision. While most automakers talk about the effect of a battery in the floor on handling, Volvo points out that it protects against rollovers. The rear structure has also seen a redesign to accommodate the new driveline and transfer forces away from the cabin.
While it's a release short on specs, the included illustrations do reveal some information about the electrically excited XC40. A pair of motors, one front and one rear, will offer all-wheel drive with energy coming from a battery pack contoured to fit not just the floor, but into the voids of the centre tunnel and under the rear seat. The bodywork appears to be the same as the standard XC40, though we'd expect some electric-specific detailing like revised and less open grillework.
Volvo says it will reveal more details about the electric XC40 and show off the whole thing October 16th. The automaker has said it expects five full-EVs by 2021 and a million electrified models on the road by 2025.