Volvo debuted a concept car that anticipates the company’s all-electric future. This vehicle was revealed during the company’s “Tech Day” event on Wednesday, where it provided an extensive roadmap towards becoming the world’s sole electric vehicle manufacturer by 2030.
The vehicle, called “Concept Recharge,” has suicide doors that open into a spacious interior, where the absence of an internal combustion engine leaves more room for the driver and passengers. Certainly, the sleek exterior design and minimalist interior evoke Tesla, but they are also reminiscent of other EVs on the market, such as the Ford Mustang Mach-E.
The new Volvo electric concept car represents Volvo’s vision for the future
A production version of the concept may not look quite like this. Henrik Green, CEO of Volvo, believes a “version” of Concept Recharge may be a reality within three years, without the dramatic suicide doors.
It plans to market 600,000 later this decade and to build a battery manufacturing plant in Europe by 2026. Northvolt and the company are developing a new generation of batteries with a higher energy density and designed to be integrated into a vehicle’s structural system.
Despite the longer range between charges and faster charging times, the new batteries, due after 2025, will provide drivers with up to 625 miles (1,006 km) between charges.
Lidar laser sensors, such as those made by Luminar, will improve safety and set the stage for more autonomous driving capabilities in future vehicles, according to Luminar. It was announced last week that company’s car models will come standard with lidar, however, it will cost extra to enable hands-free highway driving with lidar.
As part of the software development process, Company is also bringing in-house programmers to help speed the deployment of fleet updates or fix bugs.
Next-generation company electric vehicles will be powered by VolvoCars.OS, which will also enable unsupervised driving on highways. (At present, all advanced driver assistance systems require a driver to pay attention to the road.)
Green said the new OS will act as an “umbrella system” for all of the underlying systems that run in the vehicle, including Android Automotive OS, Blackberry’s QNX, Linux, and AUTOSAR, which he “wouldn’t mind getting rid of.”. He also “wouldn’t mind” making Volvo’s entire software platform open source if it improves its features.
NVIDIA is supplying two systems-on-a-chip for the company’s new architecture. The one will initially focus on essential driving features, while the other will emphasize features such as semi-autonomy. The company anticipates synthesizing the two computers into one in the future to achieve more efficient processing.
The new XC90 SUV will be the company’s flagship electric vehicle next year. Company sold its first electric car, the XC40 Recharge, this year, and will release its next model, the C40 Recharge, later this year.
It is not the first time that a carmaker has laid out a sweeping vision for how it plans to deal with both electrification and autonomy. Similar events have previously been produced by Tesla and Volkswagen. It’s a fact that company, which over the years has fostered a reputation for safety, now realizes technology could drive sales more than airbags or crash resistance.
“People are actually buying cars with Android infotainment systems, and it works seamlessly with their smartphones,” Green said. Adding a new nameplate might not be as compelling as that.