Volvo Preparing to Debut Its First EV in October

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【Summary】The electric car will be a battery-powered version of the subcompact XC40 and have a two-motor design.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Nov 07, 2019 7:30 AM PT
Volvo Preparing to Debut Its First EV in October

Volvo may have its Polestar lineup of high-performance vehicles that's going down the electrified route, but the automaker is also looking to electrify its regular lineup. We already knew that the first vehicle to get a battery-powered powertrain would be the XC40. Volvo's entire lineup has a plug-in hybrid model , except for the XC40. So bringing an all-electric variant of that car to the market makes plenty of sense, and now we know when it's coming.

Volvo's First EV Around The Corner
The Swedish automaker confirmed that an all-electric XC40 will be unveiled on October 16th. The brand also put out some more information on what we can all expect from the car.
For one, the battery-powered XC40 will use the same platform as the regular XC40 that's on sale today. But unlike the regular XC40, which uses an internal combustion engine that helps absorb energy during an accident, the electric variant won't have a gas engine under the hood. So what did one of the world's safest automakers do? Well, Volvo redesigned the front end of the chassis to ensure it's just as safe as the XC40, which is one of the safer subcompacts on the road.
When it comes to the lithium-ion battery pack, Volvo placed it under the passenger compartment. And just like a fuel tank, the battery pack had to be protected to stop it from being punctured. To that end, the automaker welded an aluminum safety cage around the battery that is capable of absorbing energy during a crash. It also stops things from puncturing the battery.

Changes Are More Than Skin Deep
Surrounding components with extra metal isn't the only way Volvo plans to keep people safe inside the XC40. The little subcompact will come with an advanced driver assistance system that's the first of its kind. It's been developed jointly with some help with Zenuity. 

Relying on radars, ultrasonic sensors, and cameras, the system sounds familiar to what's on the road, but is a little smarter as it scans the road ahead and warns the driver if it detects a dangerous situation down the road. It will also try to avoid the situation if possible. The advanced system is scalable and could be used on other vehicles, as well as be upgraded with more features in the future.
There's more information on the XC40 on the horizon, especially as the debut date approaches. But the electric subcompact is a little late to the scene. There are a number of electric options on the road already, including the Chevrolet Bolt, Hyundai Kona EV, Tesla Model 3, Kia Soul EV, and Nissan Leaf. All of these options have usable ranges and somewhat-reasonable price tags. 
We're keen to see what kind of range Volvo will be able to get out of the electric XC40 and what the SUV's starting price will be. If it wants to be competitive, the vehicle will have to have a range of roughly 250 miles and have a starting price of around $35,000.

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