MALMO, Sweden – Here it comes! Volvo’s first modern electric car has been announced, the details made available today with images of the chassis of the car as a development of the Volvo XC40 plug-in hybrid.
The automaker is also presenting the XC40 as ”the safest electric car on the road” and says it joins a growing park of battery/hybrid machines for, as the company reminds us, the first time in more than a century, cars move without a petrol or diesel engine in support.
”With the introduction of this fully electric Volvo XC40 SUV,” the automaker says, ”we’re launching not only our first fully electric car – in true Volvo tradition we are also introducing one of the safest cars despite a fresh challenges from the absence of an internal combustion engine”.
Malin Ekholm, head of safety at Volvo Cars, told The Corner in a media communication: “Regardless of what drives a car, be it an electric machine or a combustion engine, a Volvo must be safe.
“The fully electric XC40 will be one of the safest cars we have yet built.”
NO ENGINE, MORE PROTECTION
Volvo safety engineers redesigned and reinforced the engineless front of the car counter the absence of an engine and ”to meet Volvo’s high safety requirements and help keep occupants as safe as in any other Volvo’.
“The fundamentals around safety are the same for this car as for any other Volvo. People are inside and the car needs to be designed to protect them.”
What is described as ”a new and unique safety structure for passengers and battery” has been created to protect humans and the battery during a collision, The battery is protected by an extruded aluminum cage embedded in the middle of the car – in effect, a crumple zone for the battery.
An extra benefit is that the heavy battery, mounted low, will drop the vehicle’s centre of gravity: result, better cornering stability.
The electric powertrain has been integrated in the rear body to create better distribution of collision forces away from the cabin.
”Active” crash-mitigation systems will introduce new technology, among them driving assistance programs mounted on a sensor platform and using software developed by Zenuity, an international joint-venture company owned by Volvo Cars and Veoneer.
MORE DETAILS SOONEST…
”The new ADAS platform,” Volvo explained, ”is a modern, scalable, active safety system that consists of a radar array, cameras and ultrasonic sensors. Scalable means it will be easy to develop and will be the foundation for the future introduction of autonomous technology.”
Carman’s Corner will bring more details about the fully electric XC40 before its first public sighting on October 16.
…AND A WORD FROM VOLVO SA
Meanwhile, Volvo SA’s MD Greg Maruszewski told The Corner the electric XC40 would be proof that the company was at the leading edge for addressing two global challenges. “We’re facing two huge challenges,” he added. ”Global warming and road deaths – each threatening the survival and well-being of the human race.
”I’m proud that Volvo is addressing both with the electric XC40… and more good news (for the planet and road users) is that customers can expect more of the same from Volvo.”