The next-generation Volvo XC60 mid-size luxury SUV will make the switch to electric power when it arrives in 2024, the brand has confirmed.
As part of a broader announcement of Volvo's joint-venture with Swedish battery manufacturer Northvolt, the car maker confirmed the next-generation XC60 will offer all-electric power – with the wording of Volvo's announcement strongly suggesting combustion engines will not be offered in any capacity with the new model.
As the first Volvo model to benefit from batteries manufactured under the Northvolt partnership, the next-generation electric XC60 will enter production in 2024 – the same year the first 15 gigawatt-hours (GWh) worth of Northvolt cells will be sourced from the battery maker's current facility in Skellefteå, Sweden.
"The first car to feature battery cells developed through the joint venture will be the electric successor to Volvo Cars’ best-selling XC60 model," reads the Swedish car maker's statement.
Top of story: Current Volvo XC60 plug-in hybrid pictured.
In 2026, Volvo and Northvolt will open a new 'gigafactory' in a yet-to-be-decided location in Europe, set to employ 3000 people, and be capable of producing up to 50GWh of cells per year – enough to produce around 500,000 to 600,000 large electric vehicle batteries, or around 85 per cent of Volvo's global new-car sales.
The gigafactory's production output falls on track with Volvo's pledge to have all-electric vehicles account for 50 per cent of its sales by 2025, before increasing to 100 per cent by 2030.
The "next-generation, state-of-the-art" batteries produced in the facility will be "specifically developed for use in Volvo and Polestar cars", from the next-generation XC60, to eventual electric versions of the XC40, XC90, S60, V60, and other models in the pipeline.
Future Polestar 4, 5 and 6 vehicles will inevitably follow the brand's current range, alongside the carbon-neutral Polestar 0 announced earlier in 2021.
"By working with Northvolt we will secure a supply of high-quality, more sustainable battery cells for our pure electric cars. Working closely with Northvolt will also allow us to strengthen our in-house development capabilities," said Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo Cars chief executive.
"Developing the next generation of battery cell technology in-house, together with Northvolt, will allow us to design batteries specifically for Volvo and Polestar drivers," said Henrik Green, Volvo Cars chief technology officer.
"With cells developed in-house for our electric cars we can focus on giving Volvo and Polestar customers what they want, such as range and short charging times."
Little else is known about the next-generation Volvo XC60, though expect it to offer the latest in the Swedish brand's interior and safety technologies, with semi-autonomous driving capabilities, Google-owned Android Automotive software and further advances in passive safety befitting of the Volvo brand.
It's not clear what platform the new mid-size SUV will sit on, though should Volvo opt for electric power only, parent Geely's SEA architecture could be a good fit, which can accomodate electric driving ranges of 700km (NEDC), three electric motors and 0-100km/h times under three seconds.