Volvo is taking charge of developing and manufacturing the motors that will power its next-generation electric vehicles.

    The company today opened its new electric development facility in Shanghai, joining its existing centre in Gothenburg, Sweden.

    Bringing development in-house is designed to allow Volvo to build more efficient motors which work better in tandem with the battery and drive hardware it’s currently researching.

    “Through in-house design and development, we can fine-tune our e-motors to ever better levels,” said Henrik Green, chief technology officer at Volvo Cars.

    The first motors from the new facility will be used for plug-in hybrid and pure-electric vehicles built on the SPA 2 architecture that will eventually underpin the next-generation XC90 SUV, along with the Polestar 3 SUV.

    Volvo will start its all-electric rollout in Australia with the XC40 Recharge, set to touch down in the second half of 2021.

    When it touches down, the Recharge will kickstart a push into the world of pure-electric vehicles that will also include the Polestar brand.

    Volvo Australia managing director Nick Connor earlier this year said he was hoping the XC40 Recharge would touch down before the end of 2020.

    “We were hoping to get it in at the back end of this year, obviously with current supply issues it’s going to be 2021,” Mr Connor told CarExpert.

    Power comes from electric motors on each axle, drawing on a 78kWh lithium-ion battery pack. With 300kW of power and 660Nm of torque, the XC40 Recharge will scoot to 100km/h in just 4.9 seconds from standstill.

    Claimed range is 418km, and Volvo says the car can be fast charged to 80 per cent in 40 minutes.

    Pricing hasn’t been revealed, but the first examples of the XC40 Recharge in the United Kingdom start at north of $100,000 before on-road costs.

    Mr Connor said that pricing won’t necessarily translate to Australia.

    “I would hope that we can price it below $100,000 – the point is it needs to be competitive in the market, whichever market we sell it in, but I don’t see it as selling at six figures,” he told CarExpert.

    The XC40 Recharge will go head-to-head with the Tesla Model 3 and Hyundai Kona Electric in Australia when it arrives.

    Scott Collie

    Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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