Volvo EX60, Sweden’s Tesla Model Y challenger, to debut by 2026

  • EX60 would be a pure-electric alternative to the XC60
  • Will belong to the globally popular mid-size SUV segment
  • Base configuration could be priced in the USD 60,000-70,000 range
  • U.S. should be among the first global markets to receive the EX60

Update (May 24, 2024): Background and Release Date sections updated, and new Manufacturing section added.

In March 2021, Volvo Cars announced that it plans to have a line-up of seven electric cars by mid-decade, 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 (rebranded to EC40 in 2024). One of the seven EVs will be a model equivalent to the XC60, called ‘Volvo EX60.’

Name

Volvo Cars has backtracked over its decision in 2021 to stop using alphanumeric names. The company’s plans seem to have changed under the leadership of Jim Rowan, who replaced Håkan Samuelsson as its CEO and President on March 21, 2022. Following the launches of the EX90 and EX30, TopElectricSUV.com understands that the Swedish automaker will release its XC60 electric alternative as ‘Volvo EX60.’

On July 13, 2022, Volvo Trademark Holding AB filed a trademark application for the name ‘Volvo EX60’ at EUIPO. According to the Nice Classification, this trademark application is for “electric vehicles; land motor vehicles.” Volvo Trademark Holding AB is a company jointly owned by Volvo Cars and Volvo Group.

Background

On June 21, 2021, Volvo Cars’ parent company Volvo Car Group slipped in the confirmation of a Volvo XC60-class EV in an 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.

The first car to feature battery cells developed through the joint venture will be the electric successor to Volvo Cars’ best-selling XC60 model.

Volvo Cars’s partnership announcement with Northvolt (via media.volvocars.com) on June 21, 2021

On February 1, 2024, Rowan reaffirmed the pure-electric alternative to the XC60 in the product pipeline when asked about it during Volvo Car Group’s Q4 2023 earnings conference call:

It’s a natural, progression for us. We’re not just quite ready to announce when we’ll hit the market with the new 60 class in electric.

Jim Rowan, President and CEO, Volvo Cars (Volvo Car Group Q4 2023 earnings conference call on February 1, 2024)
Volvo EX60 and other upcoming Volvo electric cars
The Volvo EX60 and Volvo EX90 will be instrumental in Volvo’s plan of having EVs account for half the total sales. Image: Volvo Cars

Platform

The Volvo EX60 should have a skateboard-like flat floor, with provisions to mount flat batteries and electric motors for the front and rear.

According to a report by MotorTrend published on December 16, 2022, Volvo Cars and Polestar’s engineers are developing a new platform called ‘GPA,’ short for ‘Global Product Architecture.’ A possibility exists that the GPA platform underpins the Volvo EX60, as the product is still a while away from dealers.

GPA will be more advanced than SPA 2, as it will have twice the operating voltage – 800 volts. Lower weight and installation space of the cabling, higher performance, and faster charging are some of the main advantages of a higher voltage for an EV architecture. Volvo Cars’s former COO Javier Varela told MotorTrend that GPA will have software-related innovations, although he didn’t disclose details.

Volvo XC40 Recharge C40 Recharge Battery Package
An evolution, although shorter in length, of the EX90’s SPA2 will underpin the EX60. Image of the XC40 Recharge’s chassis used as illustration. Image: Volvo Cars

Meanwhile, the regular XC60 should live on until the second half of the decade with periodic updates, in partially electrified variants. Volvo won’t stop producing the XC60 hybrid as demand for the Recharge variant is increasing every year, and the phasing out of the combustion variant would have to be gradual.

Specifications

More efficient battery cells

The Volvo EX60 will be part of Volvo Cars’ second-gen EVs. Compared to the XC40 Recharge or C40 Recharge, it will have improved lithium-ion battery technology. The company 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-generation electric cars and cut charging times by almost half. We’re expecting a range of 300-350 miles (EPA-est.) in the EX60.

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, former Head of Industrial Strategy, Volvo Cars (Volvo Cars Tech Moment)

Up to 400 kW system power

Henrik Green, former Head of Global Advanced Technology & Sustainability, Volvo Cars, suggested that the Volvo EX60 could come with dual-motor powertrains that generate up to 400 kW (536 hp) of system power. Speaking to Recharge (mestmotor.se) in December 2021, Green said that the next-gen Volvo EVs coming from 2022 “will receive 400 kW (536 hp).”

200 kW+ charging power

Lutz Stiegler, former Solution Manager Electric Propulsion, Volvo Cars, confirmed at the Volvo Cars Tech Moment in June 2021 that second-gen Volvo EVs will have more than 200 kW of 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. This would considerably reduce wait times at the charging station. The EX90, the first of second-gen Volvo EVs, allows charging at up to 250 kW.

Volvo second-gen EV batttery pack
Volvo Cars plans to significantly increase the size of its battery packs in future vehicles. Image Source: Volvo Cars

V2L

Volvo Cars will offer bidirectional charging, as it does in the EX90, allowing customers to use their car’s battery pack as storage for solar energy. This will help them save money on their energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint. The V2L system comes in handy when running appliances, tools, and gadgets during camping or at the job site. Moreover, customers in markets with time-variable energy prices would be able to reduce their energy bills with bi-directional charging.

Exterior & Interior

Volvo EX60 electric SUV rendering
TopElectricSUV’s rendition of the electric XC60 counterpart (pictured) draws influences from the Concept Recharge and EX90 models.

The Volvo EX60 could feature a new type of design inspired by the much bigger Volvo Recharge Concept. For enhanced aerodynamics, it could be lower and more estate-like compared to the SUV-looking XC60.

The Volvo EX60 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, former 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 Luminar LiDAR-enabled 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, former head of Digital Consumer Products, Volvo Cars

Safety

If not the safest, the Volvo EX60 should be one of the best models in its segment for safety features. In addition to multiple ultrasonic sensors, cameras, and radars, it will feature a LiDAR sensor, fitted on the roof. Developed by Luminar, the LiDAR sensor may allow the vehicle to see what lies 250 meters ahead, even in complete darkness. That’d only be that outside intelligence, though.

Volvo Cars has left no stone unturned when it comes to safety, and has developed new intelligence features for the interior of its future models. It will likely offer its new driver understanding system that, using two in-cabin cameras, ensures the driver isn’t drowsy, distracted, intoxicated, or ill. Another safety highlight in the cabin of the EX60 could be the interior radar system that ensures a child or pet doesn’t get left behind.

Release Date

According to a report carsguide published on November 12, 2022, the Volvo XC60 will be the last model from the current line-up to get an electric successor. While that was initially anticipated to unfold in 2026, Auto Express mentions a 2025 launch in the opening of its exclusive article, published on May 10, 2024. Its competitors will include the 2025 Tesla Model Y, next-gen Mercedes EQC (Mercedes EQC SUV), Audi Q4 e-tron, BMW iX3, and Lexus RZ.

Volvo Cars plans to launch one new EV every year in the coming years, and the EX90 was the first of them, Rowan said at the company’s first-ever Capital Markets Day in Stockholm on November 10, 2022. By the middle of the decade, the Swedish automaker aims to convert half of its new car sales to electric vehicles. For reference, the company’s annual sales target for this period is 1.2 million units, which means it’s expecting to ship 600,000 electric vehicles every year.

By 2030, the company sees itself dealing exclusively in fully-electric vehicles. If that actually happens, the Swedish automaker would be one of the first legacy companies to switch entirely to pure electric vehicles.

Manufacturing

The same Auto Express reports also shed light on the manufacturing of the EX60, which will be held at Volvo Cars’ factory in Gotherburg, Sweden.

The EX60 is poised to adopt the revolutionary ‘mega casting’ manufacturing process, producing major car components as single aluminum parts instead of hundreds of smaller pieces. Mikael Fermér, Volvo’s vehicle platform architect, had highlighted to Autocar UK that this innovation enhances space utilization inside the cabin and allows for more precise vehicle sculpting, potentially lowering the seating by up to 15 mm, which improves aerodynamics and range.

This method not only offers design flexibility across different body styles but also promotes environmental sustainability through 100% material utilization, recycling cut-out parts back into the production cycle, similar to Tesla’s Model Y approach.

As per Auto Express, Volvo claims that the new rear floor for their vehicles, produced using mega casting, weighs 15-20 percent less than a traditional stamped equivalent. Despite the reduced weight, it offers safety and durability that are just as good, if not better, than traditional methods.

TopElectricSUV says

The Volvo EX60 will be a pure-electric mid-size SUV similar to the Tesla Model Y. It should feature an exterior with a mix of modern but conventional proportions with futuristic design elements, a spacious and minimalist interior, class-leading safety and ADAS features, and a frugal zero-emissions powertrain. Considering the powertrain and technology to be included, the EX60 is poised to be the most advanced EV coming out of Gothenburg.

Volvo EX60 FAQs

What is the Volvo EX60 release date?

The Volvo EX60 will debut by 2026, positioned above the Volvo EX40.

Which models do you consider Volvo EX60 rivals?

The Volvo EX60 will challenge the next-gen Mercedes EQC, new BMW iX3 & Audi Q4 e-tron.

Do you have an idea of the Volvo EX60 price?

The Volvo EX60 is expected to come at between USD 60,000-70,000.

Featured Image: TopElectricSUV’s rendition of the Volvo EX60