Volvo has revealed an electric small hatchback concept – currently given the rather catchy moniker of 40.2 – at a show in Gothenburg, Sweden. The 40.2 will have a pretty decent range of around 217 miles between charges if Volvo is to be believed.
Volvo first revealed that they were to be involved in the electric car market back in 2010 when they revealed the C30 DRIVe concept at the Paris Motor Show. The C30 had a range of less than 100 miles, which is an indication of how fast electric car technology is moving – or maybe more to the point, how fast car battery tech is improving.
The 40.2 electric concept is a front-wheel drive car with its battery pack hidden away under the floor. It utilises Volvo’s Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), which will feature as a platform for the smaller Volvo models and those of its parent company Geely in China. CMA is planned as part of Volvo’s global strategy as smaller cars continue to become more popular and desirable
The 40 series concepts showcase the CMA technology as well as perhaps revealing a new global direction for Volvo. Dr Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President of Research and Development, said: The new 40 series cars have the potential to improve our market penetration in an important growth segment.”
The reveal of the 40.2 as an EV concept also backs up the Volvo plan to have a pure electric vehicle on its Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) by 2019, which, along with the 40.2, is likely to contribute to Volvo’s desire to be selling a million EV or hybrid electric vehicles by 2025. SPA should be viewed as the larger brother of CMA, according to Peter Mertens.
The 40.2 is rumoured to be a sneak peek at what the next generation of Volvo family cars will look like, with its raised ride height and sloping roofline directing the eye to its saloon-like rear profile inspired by the S90. Although it has to be said, from the side, the concept’s silhouette has the feel of a coupé about it.
So what are we to make of this at this stage? Only that Volvo is dipping its toe into the electric water pool now very much in public and plans to be a serious contender – and as always, there will be a team of advisors and design experts watching the reaction of the press and the public to the 40 series concepts with sharp and keen eyes. Watch this space.
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