Volvo is reportedly preparing to introduce a more affordable electric vehicle based on an EV-only platform.
The Volvo will reportedly be the first model from the Swedish brand to use parent Geely’s new ‘open-source’ Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA), previewed in the new Zeekr 001.
SEA won’t just be a drop in the ocean for Volvo, with the Swedish brand expecting the new entry-level model to increase its EV sales percentage. It’s targeting 50 per cent of its sales to be EVs globally by 2025, and will only sell EVs after 2030.
Like the next-generation XC90, the new Volvo model probably won’t use an alphanumeric name as its transitions away from such nameplates.
Autocar reports the new model will be a rival to the Mercedes-Benz EQA, though this is a slot currently occupied by the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric and upcoming C40 Recharge.
However this pair both use an architecture designed to handle combustion drivetrains.
MORE: Volvo says goodbye numbers, hello to real names
The Zeekr 001, first revealed in concept form as the Lynk & Co Zero, shows the potential of the new architecture.
It offers a choice of 86kWh or 100kWh batteries, with a maximum range of 700km on the more lenient NEDC cycle and charging speeds of up to 360kW.
It also features a dual-motor all-wheel drive powertrain with a heady 400kW of power and 700Nm of torque, good for a 0-100km/h time of 3.8 seconds.
Most SEA-based models are expected to feature less powerful powertrains.
The SEA architecture can accommodate everything from A-segment city cars to larger D- and E-segment vehicles and can be configured with front-, rear- or all-wheel drive and one, two or three electric motors.
A variant will also be developed for light commercial vehicles, while Geely has also mentioned a range extender model.
Geely will make the architecture accessible to not only all its brands, including Lotus and Proton, but also other OEMs.
“We intend to offer the benefits of this innovation to other manufacturers – reflecting the common interests in our industry in addressing the challenges of climate change,” said Geely Holding chairman and founder Li Shufu.