The EV market is heating up pretty fast, and Volvo has just announced some grand plans on how it hopes to make a name for itself. That’s why Volvo just announced its intentions to become all-electric by 2030, and what it's doing to make that happen.
Part of that involves the ‘Concept Recharge’ car, which is a model of what Volvo’s electric vehicles will look like. But the bigger news is the company’s new batteries, which it claims can offer up to 625 miles on a single charge.
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What is the Volvo Concept Recharge?
The Concept Recharge itself is quite a fancy looking car, opting for an SUV-like design that maximizes room and comfort on the inside. It also packs in a vertical infotainment tablet, reverse hinge rear doors and multiple arm rests that look like they have enough room for all occupants of the car to stick their limbs out without elbowing each other in the process.
Of course, this is only a concept and the Concept Recharge won’t be driving on a road near you. However Volvo CTO Henrik Green told The Verge (opens in new tab) that a “version” of the car could be on the road within three years. Apparently, the plan is to sell 600,000 electric cars by mid-decade.
Volvo’s also planning on bringing its software operations in house, with the development of a new VolvoCars.OS. The company says this will be an “umbrella system” for other software, and will help speed up the development of updates and software patches.
Crucially, it will also “enable unsupervised driving” on highways. That’s important because all modern autonomous driving systems still require the driver to pay attention to the road. Not having to watch the car’s progress all the time is one step closer to true autonomy.
What about the 625-mile batteries?
Let’s step back and look at the consequences of having a 625-mile range, because that is a ridiculous number. Right now most high-end cars top out somewhere between 250 and 350 miles, while Tesla currently offers cars that can promise over 400 miles on a single charge. The upcoming Cybertruck, and the recently-cancelled Model S Plaid Plus, were supposed to offer over 500 miles of range.
625 miles of range would get you from LA to Las Vegas and back with plenty of power to sit in LA traffic for a few hours. It’s almost enough to make the 685 mile journey from London to Berlin, a journey that involves traveling in five different countries.
In short, that's an absurd amount of power for a car to have, and according to Volvo this can happen thanks to a new high energy density battery design and integrating the battery as one of the car’s structural elements. Apparently. these batteries will be available sometime after 2025, and Volvo plans to build its own European battery manufacturing before 2026.
Volvo also promised that these batteries will offer faster charging times, and while it didn’t offer any specific speeds Volvo claims charging times will be almost cut in half around the middle of this decade.