XC40 Will Be First All-Electric Volvo, Executive Says

The model is set to debut in 2019.

byStephen Edelstein| UPDATED Jun 25, 2018 4:42 PM

Volvo has said it will launch its first all-electric car in 2019, but details on that model have been hard to come by. Now Thomas Ingenlath, head of the Swedish automaker's Polestar performance brand, says the initial electric model will be a variant of the XC40 crossover.

"It's not a secret anymore that the first full-electric Volvo is on its way with the XC40 coming," Ingenlath, who is also a former Volvo design boss, said in an interview with Autocar. "It will arrive very soon after the Polestar 2."

Details on the Polestar 2 are sketchy, but it's expected to appear in 2019 as a less-expensive alternative to the Polestar 1, the $155,000 plug-in hybrid coupe that will launch Polestar as an independent brand. While initial reports indicated the Polestar 2 would go head to head with the Tesla Model 3, Ingenlath has said he does not think of the car as a direct Tesla competitor.

However, the electric Volvo XC40 could be a rival to Tesla's upcoming Model Y, the crossover companion to the Model 3. Last year, Volvo U.S. boss Lex Kerssemakers said the automaker's first production electric car would have a range of around 250 miles and would cost between $35,000 and $40,000. Those are Model 3-rivaling numbers but in a crossover instead of a sedan.

In his Autocar interview, Ingenlath also said the larger XC90 crossover would get an all-electric variant in 2021, to be built at the new Charleston, South Carolina, factory where the redesigned S60 sedan will be built. Volvo plans to offer a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or all-electric version of every vehicle it makes beginning in 2019, but the company hasn't had much to say about its all-electric models until now. Could Volvo's electric-car plans finally be coming into focus?