With the shift from combustion engine platform to fully-electric, Volvo is also taking advantage to rethink and restyle their models for the future. The Volvo Concept Recharge was previewed yesterday at the company’s technology event called Volvo Cars Tech Moment.
“Our Concept Recharge represents a manifesto for the all-electric future of Volvo Cars, as well as a new type of vehicle,” said Robin Page, head of design. “It displays new and modern proportions that go hand-in-hand with increased versatility and shows what technology can enable in terms of design.”
Volvo says the Concept Recharge has the Scandinavian design and mantra of ‘less but better’ at its core. Up front, the traditional radiator cooling grille has been replaced with a shield-like structure, supported by a new interpretation of the company’s Thor’s Hammer headlight design.
In this concept car, the headlights feature advanced technology that enables pure graphics to reveal the main lamp units when switched on in the dark. A front trunk or ‘frunk’ is also expected to be built under the hood.
At the top and centre of the windscreen is the LiDAR sensor, a device that uses pulses of laser lights to accurately provide depth and position information, creating a temporary real-time 3D map without requiring data connection.
The LiDAR sensor will unlock better, more precise mapping and navigation which will, in turn, allow even more advanced unaided driving capabilities, all in the pursuit of fully autonomous driving.
At the rear, the vertical taillamps continue to highlight the brand’s signature but now integrated with a set of wings that extend at higher cruising speeds to further improve overall aerodynamics.
Inside, the dashboard continues to follow the ‘less but better’ concept with just simple but rich information screens. The central display measures 15 inches and in portrait orientation while the driver’s display is aided by another head-up display.
Next-generation Volvo vehicles will also see the overall vehicle operating system developed by Google and powered by NVIDIA, called VolvoCars.OS. More integration of various control systems and in-house development means the new-generation models can be updated with high-quality new software and features more frequently.
Thanks to a flat floor with the battery pack placed below it, the interior is a vast expanse of space, with designers happily recreating a truly Scandinavian living room feeling.
Moving to the technical aspects of the Concept Recharge that will form the basis of the next-generation Volvo EVs, the company is focusing on advancing battery technology for a longer range and faster charging times.
Volvo is partnering with Northvolt to develop and produce sustainable batteries that will reduce the carbon impact, responsible sourcing of raw materials and even remanufacture or reuse batteries.
Bi-directional charging will also be made available, allowing customers to offload excess electricity from their car battery to the power grid.
As for the upcoming new Volvo XC90, the model will go fully-electric and is slated for production next year. One of the main production bases will be South Carolina in the USA, where the facility will also produce the upcoming Polestar 3 high-performance SUV.
Volvo is embarking on a mission to have its entire line-up to be fully electric by 2030, phasing out even their plug-in hybrid models that are currently on sale in Malaysia.