The next generation of Volvo’s electric cars is to be more powerful. In terms of design, Volvo is charting a new course.
The Volvo Recharge concept car shows where Volvo wants to go in the future in terms of design and technology. The first generation of Volvo’s electric vehicles still shares the floor assembly with conventionally powered models. This requires compromises in terms of proportions and space in order to accommodate a battery or an internal combustion engine, depending on the drive concept. This will soon be a thing of the past. Volvo is fully committed to the electric drive.
“By simplifying the design and integration of our battery cells, we can reduce weight and maximize space. This leads to significant improvements in battery capacity, range and charging times,” says Henrik Green, Volvo’s chief technology officer.
In the new Volvo Recharge concept car, the manufacturer shows what the future holds. The SUV features a flat floor under which the battery pack is located. Since the combustion engine is eliminated, there is more space in the interior, especially between the front seats.
The classic grille has given way to a shield-like structure. To the left and right of it are the new headlights, which the company says feature a Thors hammer design. They look like two horizontal hammers.The high beam unit is hidden behind the driving lights in the handle of the hammer and is revealed by a mechanism when required.
The interior is Scandinavian cool: decorative elements have almost completely disappeared. A 15-inch portrait touchscreen forms the center of the infotainment system. On the roof of the concept car is a lidar sensor developed by Luminar that collects data on the vehicle’s surroundings and is expected to play a key role in Volvo’s future autonomous driving technology.
More range and faster charging – that’s what electric car drivers want. Volvo promises to take this more into account in the next generation of its e-cars. The company is continuing to rely on lithium-ion batteries and is working with manufacturer Northvolt. The battery pack is to be integrated into the vehicle floor to increase overall rigidity.
Before the end of this decade, Volvo aims to achieve an energy density of 1,000 watt-hours per liter (Wh/l) to enable real-world ranges of up to 1,000 kilometers on a single charge. Meanwhile, charging times are to be halved.
The cells from Volvo’s planned collaboration with Northvolt are expected to come from production that uses 100 percent renewable energy. In parallel, the company is working with its other battery suppliers to achieve this goal with them as well by 2025. In addition, the batteries are to be recycled or reused. Second-life applications for energy storage, for example, are also currently being examined. Volvo aims to sell only electric vehicles from 2030.