Volvo’s best-selling model worldwide – the XC60 mid-size SUV – is set to be joined by an electric alternative by 2026 as the Swedish automaker prepares to move away from petrol here and overseas.
A Electric successor to the mid-size SUV Volvo XC60 is set to hit overseas showrooms next year as Volvo Australia prepares to end sales of petrol-powered cars from 2026.
Volvo 18 months ago confirmed plans for the successor to the current XC60 – the Chinese-owned Swedish brand’s global best-seller – to go electric, with production due to start in Europe between 2024 and 2026.
The new model – all but confirmed to carry the EX60 designation, in line with the larger EX90 SUVs and smaller EX30s – is initially set to be sold alongside the current XC60 in overseas markets as they phase out petrol power.
However, it remains to be seen if that will happen in Australia, where Volvo plans to stop selling petrol models from 2026 – four years ahead of Volvo’s global target.
“We can have the XC60 alongside an EX60,” Volvo chief executive Bjorn Annwall told Australian media, including drive last week in Sweden.
“So that actually expands our product portfolio in this transitional period where … not [every customer] can become all-electric because you don’t have enough power, fast charging and what you have.
“That’s the hedge we’re using in that time frame between now and 2027 or so, so that gives us a bit of flexibility in how we play [our model range] slightly different in different countries,” said Mr Annwall.
When plans for the Volvo XC60-sized electric SUV were confirmed in June 2021, it was stated that production would begin between 2024 and 2026 – barring any delays.
With the EX60 launching closer to 2026, it could potentially become a direct replacement for the petrol XC60 in Australia, which has three years left to live locally.
Few details of the EX60 have been confirmed so far, but it is planned to be the first Volvo model to benefit from batteries developed in partnership with Swedish company Northvolt.
It’s not clear if it would use a shrunken version of the “SPA2” electric car architecture under the new seven-seat Volvo EX90 – which will sit alongside and eventually replace the petrol XC90 – or another platform within its parent company’s group of proprietary brands , the Chinese car giant Geely.
Meanwhile, Mr Annwall told Australian media that Volvo was considering adding a larger car than the five-metre-long EX90 (above) to its model range – giving weight to Chinese reports of plans for a new luxury electric people mover.
“We could talk about even bigger cars. No decision has been made yet, but of course there could be a reason for an even bigger car,” the manager told media.
However, Mr Annwall said Volvo will not follow in the footsteps of its German luxury car rivals, offering dozens of models and body styles – and by the time it becomes all-electric in Europe in 2030, it would instead be offering a similar number of cars today in his assortment.
“An advantage of Volvo’s fairly limited vehicle range means we can manage this transition [to electric cars] pretty effective because when you have 20 [body sizes and styles] It’s very hard to get to 40 [when selling petrol cars alongside electric versions]’ said Mr Annewall.
“Once this transition is over, we’ll be back to just electric cars [in 2030], will the vehicle range be much different than it used to be? I don’t think we will be the brand that has many [models]we’ll still have a fairly concentrated range.
“I’m not sure if you’re going to have a station wagon, sedan and SUV — and a coupe version of that [the SUV] – for every size. I don’t think that makes sense.”
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