Volvo Starts Production of its Own BEVs

While Volvo’s premium EV sub-brand is grabbing all the electrification headlines, the Swedish parent company has begun its own pure electric push.

It has announced that production has begun of its upcoming XC40 Recharge Pure Electric P8 luxury SUV as the first of several fully electric Volvos to come. The start of customer car production follows a period of preparation in which the automaker’s Ghent plant has built a limited number of pre-production cars. This process, standard procedure for every new model, aims to evaluate production flow efficiencies and safeguard quality. All relevant production staff have also received specialist training on safely constructing BEVs.

The move clearly points the strategy for the two brands with Volvo dedicated to building BEVs in its home European market while Polestar focuses on production in China, the base from both company’s overarching owner, Geely. It’s that localized production that could also boost the Volvo BEV’s attractiveness to climate conscious consumers looking to buy products with a lower carbon footprint than imported vehicles from distance production plants.

Indeed, Volvo says customer demand for the XC40 Recharge P8 has been strong and, while order books remain open, every car scheduled to be built this calendar year has already been sold. The first cars are scheduled to be delivered to customers in Europe later this month.

The all-wheel-drive XC40 Recharge P8 claims a projected range of more than 249 miles on the WLTP rating while its powertrain boasts a healthy 404bhp. The battery packs claims to can charge to 80% of its capacity in about 40 minutes on a fast-charger system. It is also protected by a safety cage embedded in the middle of the car’s body structure.

Javier Varela, Volvo’s head of global industrial operations and quality, said: “Today is a momentous occasion for Volvo Cars and for all employees here in Ghent. As we continue to electrify our line-up, the Ghent plant is a real trailblazer for our global manufacturing network.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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