Volvo Cars has announced today that it will be building its first electric vehicle (EV) in China in 2019, adding that the model will be exported globally from China.
The unnamed EV will be based on Volvo’s Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform, the same platform that is expected to underpin the firm’s upcoming XC40 compact SUV, likely to be released in as early as late-2017.
While this is the Volvo’s first series production EV, this is not the first time Volvo has dabbled in EVs. Back in 2011, the company did produced a small number of C30 Electric for limited customer trials in Europe, USA and China. The experience gained from the C30 Electric paved the way for the development of Volvo’s current plug-in hybrid models. The XC90’s centrally-mounted traction battery design for example, was a further development of the C30 Electric’s design.
This upcoming EV however, will be a series production model and unlike the lease-only C30 Electric, this new EV will be sold to customers.
In making his announcement at the Auto Shanghai 2017, Hakan Samuelsson, chief executive of Volvo Cars said, “Volvo Cars fully supports the Chinese government’s call for cleaner air as outlined in the latest five-year plan. It is fully in-line with our own core values of environmental care, quality and safety.”
The CMA-based EV will be soon be joined by a larger EV model that’s based on the Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) - the platform that currently underpins the XC90 and the recently previewed all-new XC60.
Volvo has three manufacturing facilities in China in Daqing, which makes its 90 series cars (S90 and XC90, V90 is not available in China), Chengdu, which makes its 60 series cars (XC60, S60, V60), and Luqiao, which will make its 40 series cars (V40).
The Daqing plant has just recently began exporting a long wheelbase variant of the S90 sedan, the S90L to USA. Sales of the China-made S90L will begin in the second-half of 2017.