Volvo confirms electric version of next XC90

Volvo will launch an electric version of its next-generation XC90, which is due in around 2022.

The third-generation XC90 will be the first model based on the updated SPA architecture that will underpin all next-generation versions of Volvo’s 60-series and 90-series models.

Confirming the news, Volvo boss Håkan Samuelsson also revealed that an expansion of the smaller 40-series of models was also due to take place beyond the sole XC40 of today.

Whether that will be a more direct replacement for the recently discontinued V40 family hatchback isn’t yet known, but Samuelsson said the firm “realised the need for another small, premium car” with a particular focus on Europe, and that there are “plans to do more models of the family”.

The 40-series will initially expand with the electric XC40 Recharge later this year, and at least one new bodystyle will follow it, separate from anything badged XC40.

Volvo’s strategy for electric cars is to offer electric versions of existing models rather than bespoke creations – a role that it believes it has covered off with its new Polestar electric performance car brand.

As well as being offered as an EV, the next XC90 will continue to be offered as a plug-in hybrid and likely a mild hybrid petrol. There will be no diesel option, however, because Volvo plans to not offer diesel as it replaces and adds to its range from now on.

Samuelsson confirmed the future SPA cars, including the XC90, will all be offered with a high degree of automated driving potential on highways that will be optional for the customer. The hardware will be there to allow full hands-off and eyes-off driving should regulations allow this in time, but Samuelsson dialled back from Volvo offering a fully autonomous car – as much of the industry is now doing.

Production of the XC90 will move from Torslanda, Sweden to Volvo’s new plant in South Carolina, US.