Swedish vehicle manufacturer Volvo has announced that it will be releasing its first full-electric vehicle on October 16, and the company says it will be “one of the safest cars on the road.”
Volvo has embraced the challenges of creating a vehicle without an internal combustion engine head-on. The carmaker designed a body for the XC40 that will feature a newly developed front crash structure that will add strength and safety to the front-end of the vehicle. The company hopes that the addition of these features will make up for the absence of an internal combustion engine in the front.
Volvo has also developed an aluminum safety “cell” that will protect the front passenger from injuries by crumpling around them in the event of an accident.
Adding further safety to the vehicle, Volvo has decided to keep the battery cell in the rear of the car under the floorboard. The placement of the vehicle’s battery cell here will lower the center of gravity and make it less susceptible to roll-overs that SUVs are especially prone to due to their high stature, notes the legacy carmaker.
Volvo’s electric initiative ushers in a new era of vehicle in the company’s rich 92-year history. In 2017, Volvo stated that they planned to only produce electric vehicles by 2019, but that has not become a reality quite yet. However, it seems that it will be happening soon. The manufacturer’s website is calling the transition to electric, “A New Chapter in Our Story”, and it seems that they will eventually move completely to an all-electric lineup.
“We are determined to be the first premium car maker to move our entire portfolio of vehicles into electrification,” President and CEO Håkan Samuelsson said.
Volvo recently released the XC40 T5 plug-in hybrid that will go on sale in late 2020. The car will cost around $35,700 and will give owners a reasonable 23 MPG city and 31 MPG highway.
Sweden is one of eight European countries to pass a ban on petrol-powered vehicles, a movement that has gained the support of a dozen countries worldwide. Sweden’s primarily environmentalist and social-democratic government passed the idea in 2018, and they plan to put it into full effect by 2030.