Volvo has a guilty conscience. Perturbed by the impact its vehicles have had on greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, the brand is committed to reinventing itself as a leader in sustainable transportation. To that end, it will unveil one new all-electric vehicle each year through 2025.
With the debut of the XC40 Recharge, that mission is officially underway. The car itself is noteworthy as Volvo’s first battery-powered offering, but the launch of the Recharge sub-brand is more so. That label will be applied to plug-in Volvo cars, including the all-electric models to underpin the brand’s emissions-free future. What, exactly, will they be? Only those in Gothenburg know for sure, but that won’t stop us from speculating. Here’s what we expect from Volvo Recharge in the coming years.
2019: XC40 Recharge Dual Motor
This model has been confirmed. Essentially an electrified version of the stylish compact crossover, the XC40 Recharge is juiced by a 78 kW-hr battery pack that feeds electric motors on the front and rear axle. Those turn out a healthy 408 hp and 487 lb-ft of torque combined, for a 0-60 mph time of 4.9 seconds and about 200 miles of range. The CMA (Compact Modular Architecture) platform it’s based on was engineered to be electrified; the XC40 Recharge has batteries mounted flat and low in the chassis, with a T-shaped cluster positioned where the gas tank and driveshaft would normally go.
2020: XC40 Recharge Single Motor
Dropping one of the XC40 Recharge’s motors would be a straightforward way for Volvo to expand its electric lineup with a more affordable offering—the question is, which motor? According to Henrik Green, Volvo’s chief technical officer, “That’s something we’re working on.” The CMA platform is built for front-wheel-drive applications, so a front motor would package naturally. However, a rear motor could improve driving dynamics and increase frunk cargo capacity. Either way, should Volvo decide to build it, a single-motor XC40 Recharge would ring up below the dual motor version’s $50,000-ish price tag.
2021: XC90 Recharge
The third generation of Volvo’s large SUV will roll on a new platform that accommodates all-electric power. We’ve only seen hybrid versions of the XC90 built on today’s SPA (Scalable Product Architecture) platform, but the SPA-II platform set to underpin the new XC90 will be designed for full electrification. Volvo confirmed to us that an XC90 EV is happening. Look for an all-electric XC90 Recharge to be available from launch. It will also lead the way for a new design direction for Volvo, one of luxurious elegance that better differentiates the brand from Polestar, which will take a more aggressive, dynamic approach. The new XC90 will be built at Volvo’s factory in Charleston, South Carolina.
2022: XC100 Recharge
2023: S90 Recharge
Despite the demise of traditional sedans in the United States, this body style remains popular in global markets—particularly China, the home of Volvo’s parent company, Geely. As such, Volvo will develop a next-generation version of the S90 sedan to ride on the electric SPA-II platform. For those who prefer to relax in the back while their driver does the hard work, the S90 will likely maintain its long-wheelbase proportions. That length may allow a larger battery to be installed in a S90 Recharge, should Volvo decide to introduce this vehicle, providing unprecedented range for long-distance electric cruising.
2024: V90 Recharge
Wagons are an indelible part of Volvo’s heritage, and we’re confident the brand will continue to celebrate five-door longroofs for years to come. Should Volvo decide to make it, a V90 Recharge would provide ample cargo space with exciting all-electric dynamics. Hopefully, a slightly lifted V90 Cross Country will continue to be part of the mix, with Recharge battery power providing motivation.
2025: New XC40 Recharge
By this point, the original XC40 Recharge will have reached the end of its lifecycle, and be fully redesigned and built on a new version of the CMA architecture. Just like the original XC40 Recharge, this next-generation version will embody the best of Volvo’s electric capabilities. New battery chemistries and fast-charging capabilities should be part of the package. It’ll herald the brand’s continued commitment to carbon neutrality for decades to come.