Volvo’s head of operations in the US, Lex Kerssemakers, has revealed that the firm’s first all-electric model will be priced between $35,000 and $40,000. He also stated that the model will possess at least 250 miles of range — given that the comment is from the firm’s US head of operations, that figure presumably refers to the US EPA range rating.
Those numbers mean that the all-electric Volvo — which is reportedly slated to be released as a 2019 model year — will be priced competitively against the Tesla Model 3, Chevy Bolt, refreshed Nissan LEAF, and Hyundai Ioniq Electric (the model will reportedly possess a much greater range than the current offering in coming years).
As far as range goes, 250 miles is more or less enough for most people (in my opinion). Though, the potential lack of a superfast-charging network (like Tesla’s Supercharger network) would of course pose potential challenges for some people.
Will there be a public nationwide electric vehicle superfast-charging network in the US by the time of the release of the electric Volvo? Hard to say, but the situation at the time (as regards such a network) will no doubt play a part in the purchase decisions of many people. If not, it would stand to reason that sales would be much lower than those of the Tesla Model 3 — arguably, the best quality of the Model 3 is (er … will be) its access to the extensive Supercharger network.
Our Swedish friend Viktor Irle of consultancy and sales tracker EV Volumes notes that the model will likely be built on a collaborative platform with the company CEVT, with the platform known as “compact modular architecture” (CMA).
“CEVT is the bridge between Volvo, Geely, and Lync & Co,” Viktor summarizes. He speculates that all of these brands “will likely come with plug-ins on the new CMA platform, and a possible next platform called BMA, used for all brands.”
Viktor also highlights a big stat that few people know — today, “Volvo has the highest sales share of plug-in hybrids among European brands.” In other words, relative to a company’s total car sales, Volvo’s plug-ins perform better than any other European brand (in Europe). Check out EV Volumes for more fascinating European EV sales data.
“The company isn’t ready to talk about the finer details of the machine. However, the price and range suggest that this is most likely to be a sedan than either an SUV or a compact car like the old C30 Electric concept. And Kerssemakers stresses that range is important — he says that people won’t buy an EV unless it has ‘sufficient’ range, even if it’s overkill for the daily commute,” Engadget notes.
“Volvo’s approach should be important for EVs as a whole by not only making them more accessible, but introducing them to a familiar brand associated with upscale cars. It may also be crucial to the company’s success in its home country. Tesla sales are exploding in Sweden, and it would be more than a little embarrassing if Volvo let a foreign rival go unchallenged for more than a few years.”
That’s a good point. Though, maybe Tesla will end up establishing a manufacturing presence in Sweden. If that happened, it seems unlikely than many people would feel “guilty” about buying a Tesla rather than a Volvo.