In March 2021, Volvo Cars announced that it plans to have a line-up of seven electric cars by 2025, in line with its effort to phase out combustion engines from its product range by the end of this decade. The announcement came on the back of the unveiling of the first electric-only Volvo car, the C40.
EV variant confirmed for next-gen Volvo XC60
On June 21, 2021, Volvo Cars’ parent company Volvo Car Group slipped in the confirmation of a Volvo XC60 electric successor in a press announcement. The company said it wants to set up a joint venture with Northvolt, Sweden’s leading battery company, to develop and produce batteries for the next-gen Volvo and Polestar EVs. Further in the announcement, the company said that the first model to feature battery cells this joint venture company develops would be the electric successor to the Volvo XC60. Volvo Car Group plans to have up to 50 GWh of annual production capacity in Europe with its joint venture in Europe by 2026.
We plan to source 15 GWh of annual capacity with the Northvolt 1 plant in Skelleftea, Sweden. This will start in 2024 in order to meet our capacity ramp-up of electric vehicles. The third step is to build a new gigafactory of up to 50 GWh of annual capacity. Combined, this will secure supply for the next generation of fully electric Volvos built in Europe.Erik Severinson, Leader in Industrial Strategy, Volvo Cars (Volvo Cars Tech Moment)
Volvo Car Group’s announcement suggests that the pure electric sibling of the next-gen Volvo XC60 will arrive with a different name instead of ‘Volvo XC60 Electric.’ The company is taking that kind of approach for its Tesla Model X rival (previewed by the Volvo Recharge Concept), preferring not to call it an XC90 EV. The chances are that a new model family is in the making.
Electric variant to join the 2023 Volvo XC60
The new Volvo XC60, which is likely to arrive in 2023 as per an AutoExpress report, and its electric alternative, will ride on the new SPA2 (Scalable Platform Architecture) currently under development. The notable advantage of the SPA2 versus the SPA1 is that Volvo will make two different floor assemblies: the Volvo XC60 electric successor and XC90 electric successor, for instance, will see a skateboard-like flat floor, with provisions to mount flat batteries and electric motors for the front and rear.
The next-gen XC60 and next-gen XC90, which will both have plug-in hybrid powertrain options, will get a floor layout that accommodates a combustion engine at the front and a fuel tank, prop shaft, and exhaust system at the rear. Production of both floor variants will take place in parallel, on separate lines, though, giving the company the economies of manufacturing scale.
Part of the Volvo’s second-generation electric cars
The next-gen Volvo XC60 and the next-gen Volvo XC90’s electric alternatives will be part of Volvo Cars’ second-gen EVs. Compared to the XC40 Recharge or C40 Recharge, they will have improved lithium-ion battery technology. It aims for a 50% higher energy density for the battery cells it plans to co-develop with Northvolt. By mid-decade, Volvo Cars plans to introduce third-gen electric cars and cut the charging times by almost half. The third-gen EVs may offer up to 1,000 km or 621 miles of driving range.
200 kW+ charging power
Lutz Stiegler, Leader in Batteries & Propulsion, Volvo Cars, confirmed at the Volvo Cars Tech Moment in June that second-gen Volvo EVs will have more than 200 kW charging power. The reduced internal resistance of the battery cells, improved thermal management, and an adapted design of the entire high-voltage system will allow the company to increase the charging power to this level, Stiegler said. He also revealed that the next-gen models will support bi-directional charging, allowing customers to use the car as storage for their solar systems. Moreover, customers in markets with time-variable energy prices would be able to reduce their energy bills with bi-directional charging.
The XC60 PHEV and XC90 PHEV will see a boost in their range thanks to improving battery technology and charging capabilities. Reports estimate the 2023 XC60 PHEV to have an electric range of 50 miles (80 km) compared to the 31-mile (50 km) range on the current XC60.
The Volvo XC60’s electric equivalent will pack a completely new infotainment platform based on Android. At the Volvo Cars Tech Moment event, Sanela Ibrovic, Head of Connected Experience, Volvo Cars, shared the following highlights of the new infotainment platform:
- A large center touchscreen
- High-resolution driver information system
- Optional head-up display
- Simple user interface
- Easy to see information
- Responsive interaction
Every next-gen Volvo EV will run on the company’s own operating system called Volvo Cars.OS, an umbrella of various operating systems across the car and the cloud. The Android Automotive OS powering the infotainment system will be a part of Volvo Cars.OS. Customers will be able to use connected car functions available in every Volvo model using the same mobile app. It will be possible to connect the EV to other ecosystems, like connected home devices, for instance.
Customers will be able to control their car easily using their voice from the convenience of their homes by issuing commands. From inside their homes, customers will be able to control charging, in-car climate, and much more. But we also want our customers to be able to control home functions from the car, such as turning on the front door light and opening the garage door.Sanela Ibrovic, Head of Connected Experience, Volvo Cars (Volvo Cars Tech Moment)
Technologies available in next-gen Volvo EVs will include spatial audio, haptic seat belts, and a driver monitoring camera as well. Most configurations of the next-gen Volvo EVs will likely be hardware-ready for many high-end features, like autonomous driving, for example. Customers would be able to enable and use features they didn’t pay for at the time of purchase or lease later by paying later.
We can deploy software over the air to the entire car. Meaning, we can activate and push brand-new functions, for example is, within autonomous driving. We can also improve and enhance existing functions in our cars, and it also allows us to activate paid-for features connected to the mobile app.Anne-Mette Nygaard, Digital Consumer Products, Volvo Cars
By 2025, Volvo wants half its sales to come from pure electric variants, and the company intends on offering electric variants of all its SUVs. The XC40 is currently available in a pure electric variant – the XC40 Recharge, alongside the coupe variant Volvo C40. The 2022 Volvo XC60 and 2022 Volvo XC90 are available with a plug-in hybrid system in a ‘Recharge’ variant and with mild-hybrid technology in the non-Recharge variant.
2023 Volvo XC60 EV FAQs
What is the next-gen Volvo XC60 release date?
The new Volvo XC60 family is expected to launch in the first half of 2023.
Which models do you consider 2023 Volvo XC60 EV rivals?
Do you have an idea of the 2023 Volvo XC60 EV price?
The Volvo XC60 electric is expected to come at between EUR 60,000-70,000.
Featured Image Source: Volvo Cars