Volvo prepares EV blitz in biggest product revamp, including 3 SUVs and 2 sedans

Volvo Cars is preparing for an electric blitz, converting all of its major models – three SUVs and two sedans – to electric vehicles and launching a luxury electric van aimed at boosting sales in Asia, two people familiar with the matter said. .

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February 2, 2023 at 16:29 pm

Volvo unveiled the EX90 sport-utility crossover last year as part of a new range of electric vehicles.

The Swedish automaker, wholly owned by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, expects to launch at least six new battery-electric vehicles by 2026, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Volvo has announced a goal to fully electrify its entire lineup by 2030. The company’s Australian subsidiary said it plans to sell only electric vehicles in the market by 2026.

The previously unannounced product plans are the biggest overhaul of Volvo’s model lineup since Geely bought the brand from Ford Motor Co. in 2010.

Under Geely, Volvo initially began sharing technologies such as car platforms with Geely.

The facelift comes as Volvo, a Swedish brand known for its safety and practical design, pays more attention to customer trends in Asia and tries to win sales there, the people said.

Two people with knowledge of Volvo’s plans asked not to be identified because the company has not released details. Geely declined to comment.

Among the new battery electric vehicles planned for the next four years is a Volvo-branded MPV or van that will be based on vehicles sold in China under Geely’s Zeekr brand.

The hulking battery-electric van, called Zeekr 009, starts at about 500,000 yuan ($74,179) and offers three rows of seats.

The vehicle competes with business or family vans such as the Toyota Alphard, offering passengers seats similar to an airplane’s business class, which has proven popular in Asian markets such as China and Japan as an alternative to luxury sedans .

Volvo has shifted development of the sedan and an upcoming people-mover model to its Shanghai research and development center, they said. The center’s design staff has tripled to about 60 and has recently moved to a new, larger building in Shanghai, one of the sources said.

The first electric model of Volvo’s new plan, the EX90 sports utility crossover, was unveiled late last year. It is expected to hit showrooms in early 2024.

Other battery-electric vehicles in the pipeline include electric versions of Volvo’s main lineup — the XC90, XC60 and XC40 crossovers — and the S60 and S90 sedans, the sources said.

The mainline models will follow Volvo’s established, simple design cues, but the new MPV will target buyers in China and other markets with a more “emotional” design based on the Zeekr 009, featuring a huge LED-lit grille , one of the sources said.

Volvo has spun off and sold its gasoline engine and hybrid powertrain businesses to Geely.

The Chinese automaker has moved to merge all of its gasoline powertrain assets, including those from Volvo, with plants spun off from Renault to create a new company focused on hybrid and gasoline engines.

Renault and Geely are working to finalize a deal that would see Aramco as an investor and partner in the joint venture, Reuters reported.

First published date: Feb 2, 2023 at 16:29 PM CST

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