Volvo is transitioning to an all-electric line-up by 2030, and an all-electric XC60 successor will be the next step on that path.
The EV crossover will use battery cells developed through a joint venture with Swedish battery company Northvolt.
While the two companies will open a new gigafactory in Europe and begin production in 2026, in the interim Volvo will source battery cells from the existing Northvolt Ett plant in Sweden starting from 2024.
That indicates production of the next-generation XC60 will also begin in 2024.
Volvo will source 15 gigawatt hours of battery cells from the existing plant, while the new gigafactory – location to be announced – will have a potential capacity of 50GWh per year and run on 100 per cent clean energy.
“By working with Northvolt we will secure a supply of high-quality, more sustainable battery cells for our pure electric cars,” said Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive at Volvo Car Group.
“Working closely with Northvolt will also allow us to strengthen our in-house development capabilities.”
Volvo says Northvolt facilities’ proximity to Volvo factories in Europe helps reduce the environmental footprint associated with battery production.
The automaker has previously stated half of its sales will come from all-electric models by 2025 with the remainder being petrol-electric hybrids.
The Polestar brand has another ambitious goal of its own: to build a truly climate-neutral vehicle by 2030.
Volvo and Northvolt’s 50/50 joint venture will begin with the establishment of a Swedish research and development centre in 2022.
The company says it’ll reveal more details of its roadmap at the Volvo Cars Tech Moment on June 30, 2021.
Northvolt has already received investment from companies like BMW and the Volkswagen Group.
BMW, for example, last year signed a long-term supply contract worth €2 billion (A$3.15 billion) for battery cells from Northvolt.
Volkswagen says it has a 20 per cent stake in Northvolt and signed a US$14 billion (A$18.55 billion) long-term supply contract in 2020.
Volvo’s announcement suggests there won’t be any internal combustion engine-powered models in the next-generation XC60 line-up.
That would make it the brand’s second model to exclusively use all-electric powertrains, after the upcoming C40 Recharge (above).
The coupe crossover is arriving in Australia by the end of 2022, though its XC40 Recharge Pure Electric sibling will arrive in the third quarter of 2021.