Volvo is going full steam ahead with its plan to become a fully-electric carmaker by 2030, which means that all of its core models will sooner or later adopt a fully-electric powertrain. After the XC40 Recharge became Volvo’s first fully-electric model, the Swedish carmaker has now confirmed that the next-generation Volvo XC60 will be fully-electric.
The announcement was made in a press release for a joint venture between Volvo and Swedish battery manufacturer Northvolt to develop and produce “more sustainable batteries” for the next generation of pure electric Volvo and Polestar cars.
The partnership between the two companies will see the construction of a research and development centre in Sweden, which will begin operations in 2022.
A new Gigafactory will also be built in Europe, with a potential capacity of up to 50 GWh per year. The site will be powered by 100% clean energy and is expected to employ around 3,000 people, with production scheduled to start in 2026.
Volvo says that by producing batteries near its own manufacturing facilities in Europe, they can reduce the environmental footprint attributable to battery sourcing and production for its future cars.
As for the fully-electric SUV XC60, Volvo did not divulge on any further information, aside from the fact that it’ll be the first model to feature battery cells developed through the joint venture. With battery production earmarked to start in 2026, we expect the model to be announced around the same time too, fitting squarely within Volvo’s 10-year model refresh cycle.
The statement did not however confirm if the next-generation Volvo XC60 will be a purely electric model, or it’ll adopt a similar strategy to the XC40 by also offering a petrol-powered option. The company previously targeted to sell 50% pure electric cars by 2025.
Volvo is set to reveal more details on its future technology roadmap at the “Tech Moment” event on June 30th, but the company revealed that they will be sourcing 15 GWh of battery cells annually from Northvolt’s existing battery plant, starting 2024.
Volvo Cars CTO, Henrik Green said, “Developing the next generation of battery cell technology in-house, together with Northvolt, will allow us to design batteries specifically for Volvo and Polestar drivers. With cells developed in-house for our electric cars, we can focus on giving Volvo and Polestar customers what they want, such as range and short charging times.”