Earlier this month, Volvo announced that it plans on completely electrifying its lineup in the near future. With the announcement, the company also unveiled the hybrid version of the XC40 SUV. Now, a few weeks following the same, the company has unveiled the all-electric version of the SUV. The car will be the first model in Volvo's lineup to achieve complete electrification.
“Regardless of what drives a car forward, be it an electric machine or combustion engine, a Volvo must be safe,” says Malin Ekholm, head of safety at Volvo Cars. “The fully electric XC40 will be one of the safest cars we have ever built.”
While building on the safety standards of the original XC40, Volvo Cars safety engineers had to completely redesign and reinforce the frontal structure to deal with the absence of an engine, meet Volvo Cars’ 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 be safe for them,” says Malin Ekholm.
The battery in the electric XC40 is protected by a safety cage which consists of a frame of extruded aluminium and has been embedded in the middle of the car’s body structure, creating a built-in crumple zone around the battery. The battery’s placement in the floor of the car also has the benefit of lowering the centre of gravity of the car, for better protection against roll-overs.
Meanwhile, the car’s body structure has not just been reinforced in the front, but also at the rear. Here, the electric powertrain has been integrated into the body structure to realise a better distribution of collision forces away from the cabin and reduce the strain on people inside the car.
The XC40 is the first Volvo model equipped with a new Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) sensor platform with software developed by Zenuity, the joint venture company owned by Volvo Cars and Veoneer.
The new ADAS platform is a modern, scalable active safety system that consists of an array of radars, cameras and ultrasonic sensors.
Volvo Cars will reveal more details about the fully electric XC40 in the coming weeks, before it will be first shown to the public on October 16.