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Volvo Electric Car to Be Priced against Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt EV

Car and Driver logo Car and Driver 3/20/2017 Bengt Halvorson

Volvo Electric Car to Be Priced against Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt EV © Bengt Halvorson Volvo Electric Car to Be Priced against Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt EV

Volvo’s electric car, expected in 2019, could prove a formidable rival to the Tesla Model 3 and the Chevrolet Bolt EV as well as top-trim versions of the next-generation Nissan Leaf and several other longer-range EVs that are due out around that time. That’s because Volvo Car USA CEO Lex Kerssemakers recently revealed one eye-opening target for the project: a base price between $35,000 and $40,000.

Like the Model 3 and the Bolt, Volvo’s as yet unnamed electric model is expected to offer a range of 250 miles or more. Although there are a few automakers that think electric cars don’t need to go for maximum range—Honda, for instance—the consensus within the industry is that range sells.

Premium badges add appeal, too, and Volvo’s plan illustrates the different ways in which luxury brands plan to jump into the EV market. The Jaguar I-Pace, for instance, is expected to play in Tesla Model X territory, with a starting price well over $60,000. At $40,000, Volvo, on the other hand, would be offering a premium-badged electric vehicle for roughly the same price as some mainstream-brand models.

Volvo’s lowest-priced U.S. model at present is the S60 sedan, at $34,945, although the new EV plus the return of the smaller 40-series vehicles, anticipated to start arriving late next year, will give the automaker a smorgasbord of entries in the $30,000-to-$40,000 range.

Volvo Concept 40.2 © Provided by Car and Driver Volvo Concept 40.2

The EV is likely to share some elements with Volvo’s Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform, which will underpin its 40-series compact vehicles, but it will use its own set of modular electrification underpinnings. Last May, Volvo showed two electric-vehicle design concepts: the 40.1 crossover and the 40.2 sedan, previewing the design direction for the XC40 and the S40, respectively. At that time, Volvo said that there will be an electric vehicle based on the S40 or a unique vehicle derived from it.

In 2019, at around the same time the EV reaches the market, Volvo is also expected to introduce more hybrids to the product mix—including front-wheel-drive hybrid versions of its 40-series vehicles featuring an electric motor integrated with a dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Currently, the only Volvo hybrids—plug-in hybrids, actually—are the top all-wheel-drive T8 versions of the XC90, with a hybrid S90 coming soon.

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