Volvo has big plans to become an electric-only carmaker by 2030, which means it will eventually have to replace its core petrol-powered models with zero-emission ones. The XC60 is one of its biggest sellers and the Swedish carmaker has just confirmed an electric successor will be introduced by the middle of the decade.
The company buried the news in a press release announcing it will develop and build batteries with its compatriot Northvolt. It plans to enter a 50:50 joint venture with the latter, which will begin with the construction of a research and development centre in Sweden coming on steam in 2022.
No details on the next XC60 as yet, but Volvo did say that the car will be the first to feature batteries developed as part of the collaboration. Given that the company is looking to source 15 GWh of battery cells a year from an existing Northvolt plant starting in 2024, we’re expecting the car to enter production then.
Eventually, the joint venture will spawn a new European battery “gigafactory” that will enter production in 2026, with a capacity of up to 50 GWh per year. Building batteries sustainably near its own base will allow Volvo to cut down its environmental footprint on battery sourcing and production, which represents a sizeable part of a car’s total lifecycle carbon emissions. It also underlines Polestar’s commitment to building a truly carbon neutral vehicle, the Polestar 0, also by 2030, the company said.
It’s still years before the next XC60 comes to fruition, so we have no idea what form it will take. However, it will likely have plenty in common with another electric SUV, the Polestar 3. That car, which is due to ride on the second-generation Scalable Premium Architecture (SPA2), will enter production next year (alongside the next XC90) in Volvo’s Ridgeville plant in South Carolina, currently building the S60.
Volvo also said it will reveal more details on its future technology roadmap at the Volvo Cars Tech Moment, to be held on June 30.
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