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Volvo confirms XC40 will be its first all-electric model

by Justin King

The XC40 EV will be followed by an electric version of the XC90.

Volvo has confirmed that its new XC40 will be the brand's first all-electric vehicle.

"It's not a secret anymore that the first full electric Volvo is on its way with the XC40 coming," said Volvo design head Thomas Ingenlath, speaking at the recent S60 debut, as quoted by Autocar.

The XC40 EV will be the first Volvo-badged mainstream EV, following "very soon" after the more extreme Polestar 2 arrives on the market late next year.

"We'll start with XC40 and then on it will come step after step into our model range," Ingenlath added. "The next car will be the next-generation XC90."

The company has taken a unique approach with its Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform, supporting traditional powertrains along with plug-in hybrid and full-electric variants on the same core architecture. It is unclear if CMA-based EVs will compromise range, weight or torsional rigidity and handling compared to dedicated EV platforms similar to those used by Tesla or Jaguar's I-Pace, among others.

Volvo is apparently preparing for a quick transition to high demand for electric vehicles. The company is consequently focusing on electric powertrains within its traditional lineup, rather than narrowly focusing on a few unique EVs sold as distinct models. The strategy helps explain why Polestar was effectively spun off as a dedicated brand.

"We definitely don't want to bring something that we've so successfully just launched like an XC40 to an end just because combustion engines will disappear," Ingenlath said.