Volvo will build compact electric car in 2019, along with larger model

Volvo recently previewed a pair of concept cars built on the platform that will support its first all-electric vehicle to go into production.

Helena Soderpalm/Reuters/File
A new Volvo concept car based on Volvo and Geely’s common new CMA platform is presented during the media event in Gothenburg, Sweden (May 18, 2016).

Volvo recently previewed a pair of concept cars built on the platform that will support its first all-electric vehicle to go into production.

Both "40 series" concepts use the new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform for smaller cars, which complements the Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform used for larger models.

Virtually every Volvo production model will be based on one of these two platforms within a few years.

Both have been designed to support electric powertrains from the start.

Volvo previously announced that it would put an electric car on sale by 2019, but now says it will build two.

One will be based one the SPA platform that underpins the XC90 SUV, S90 sedan, and V90 wagon, while a second will be based on the new CMA platform previewed by the "40 series" concepts.

That pair includes the 40.1 crossover utility vehicle and 40.2 four-door sedan.

It's unclear what body style the production compact electric car will use, or whether it will be a variant of an internal-combustion model, rather than a "dedicated" or standalone model.

The concepts are named "40 series" because they preview replacements for Volvo's small cars.

The only 40-series model currently on sale is the European-market V40 hatchback; Volvo previously offered an S40 sedan and a V50 wagon version of that model in North America.

In addition to the all-electric model, vehicles based on the CMA platform will be offered with "Twin Engine" plug-in hybrid powertrains.

The smaller models will get a T5 version, with a turbocharged three-cylinder engine and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, working with an electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack.

It's worth noting that Volvo still hasn't confirmed whether models based on the CMA platform will be sold in the U.S.

Volvo hopes to sell a total of 1 million hybrids and electric cars by 2025, and expects electrified models to comprise 10 percent of its sales by 2020.

The Swedish carmaker currently offers a T8 "Twin Engine" plug-in hybrid powertrain in the XC90, and will offer it in the S90 and V90 when they go on sale as well.

It also sells a diesel plug-in hybrid version of the V60 wagon in Europe.

The V60—along with the S60 sedan and XC60 crossover—will likely get a new plug-in hybrid powertrain as part of an upcoming redesign that includes switching to the SPA platform.

Volvo also plans to sell sporty plug-in hybrids through the Polestar performance division it acquired last year.

This article first appeared at GreenCarReports.

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