Concept Recharge Previews an All-Electric Volvo Lineup

Chris Teague | Jun 30, 2021

Several major automakers have made announcements of far-reaching plans to electrify entire vehicle lineups and to become carbon neutral in their operations. Volvo is one of the latest to lay out its objectives. At today’s Tech Moment presentation, the automaker showed off its Concept Recharge, a not-so-subtle preview of what we’ll see from the company going forward.

Volvo Concept Recharge Front Quarter View

Volvo notes that its current electric vehicles, such as the XC40, are built on existing platforms initially designed to house internal combustion engines. So, to create an EV on those platforms, Volvo had to find room for battery packs in a space originally meant to house an internal combustion engine and drivetrain components. According to the automaker, its next-generation EVs will feature a flat floor, which provides space for the battery pack without significantly disrupting passenger space inside the vehicle.

The new dedicated EV platform allows Volvo to remove the space needed for an engine, and, to accommodate a larger battery pack, the company extends the wheelbase. Longer wheelbases provide a more comfortable ride and allow for a more spacious interior, which in the concept vehicle also means a large storage area between the front seats.

A larger interior allowed designers to move the seats, shift the roofline, and lower the hood. The vehicle retains a higher focal point, similar to its gas-powered Volvo counterparts, the XC40, XC60, and XC90. The change in shape allows for better efficiency and aerodynamics, which increases the vehicle’s range.

The Concept Recharge can also be considered a preview of the safety and driver assistance systems that Volvo will trot out in the coming years. The automaker says that it placed a LiDAR unit in the roof to collect data about the world around the car. The tech is part of Volvo’s plans for safe autonomous driving functions. 

Volvo Concept Recharge Interior Dashboard

Interior technology takes a step forward with a 15-inch touchscreen that features over-the-air software updates. The tech allows Volvo to add features and improve functionality over time. The system is designed to be as intuitive as possible and help provide a calm experience in the vehicle. Adding to the serene cabin, Volvo uses sustainable materials in its construction and says that each part of the interior has been scrutinized like a piece of art.

The vehicle is not Volvo’s first swing at an electric concept with “Recharge” in its name. Back in 2007, the brand showed off its ReCharge Concept, a plug-in hybrid vehicle based on a C30 hatchback. It could travel about 100 kilometers (62 miles) on electricity before the gas engine fired up to provide propulsion and recharge the batteries.

Volvo Car USA is the source of information for this article. It was accurate on June 30, 2021, but it may have changed since that date.

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