Volvo has just announced that it has started production of its first ever all-electric vehicle, the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric P8.
The Swedish group will face challenging years ahead, as this car is considered the first step of an ambitious plan. The company is aiming to reduce its CO2 footprint per car by 40% by 2025. That same year, it expects 50% of its global sales to consist of fully electric cars, with the rest hybrids.
The XC40 EV is an intriguing vehicle as it will be an all-wheel drive SUV with a range of 249 miles on a single charge and an output of 408hp. The battery can charge to 80% of its capacity in approximately 40 minutes on a fast-charger system. It will be based on the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), an advanced vehicle platform co-developed with the Geely Group, which also owns Polestar.
According to the company, customer demand for the XC40 Recharge P8 has been strong and, while order books remain open, every car scheduled to be built this calendar year has already been sold. The first cars are lined up to be delivered to customers in Europe later this month.
As the Volvo group is gearing up to become an important player in the electric vehicle market, all relevant production staff have received extensive training on safely building EVs at the Ghent plant. According to Javier Varela, Head of Global Industrial Operations and Quality at Volvo, this factory will be instrumental for the future plans of the company.
“Today is a momentous occasion for Volvo Cars and for all employees here in Ghent,” he said. “As we continue to electrify our line-up, the Ghent plant is a real trailblazer for our global manufacturing network.”
Volvo has been a synonym of safety in the auto industry for years and this car is no exception. Engineers have completely redesigned and reinforced the frontal structure to address the absence of an engine, in order to meet Volvo’s high safety requirements and help keep people as safe as in any other vehicle produced by the automaker. The battery pack is protected by a safety cage embedded in the middle of the car’s body structure. Its placement in the floor of the car also lowers its centre of gravity, for better protection against roll-overs.