Ioanna is a writer at TNW. She covers the full spectrum of the European tech ecosystem, with a particular interest in startups, sustainabili Ioanna is a writer at TNW. She covers the full spectrum of the European tech ecosystem, with a particular interest in startups, sustainability, green tech, AI, and EU policy. With a background in the humanities, she has a soft spot for social impact-enabling technologies.
To date, Volvo’s electric models have been using conventional automobile architecture designed for internal combustion engines. In other words, EVs look like petrol-powered cars.
But now the Swedish car maker is ready to update its own design language and philosophy, and introduce us to next generation electric vehicles.
On Wednesday, the company unveiled the Volvo Concept Recharge SUV and, boy, is it elegant and beautiful. Designed to be the “manifesto” for next-gen all-electric vehicles, the concept car embodies Volvo’s new motto: “less but better.”
First, forget about the battery pack under the hood. The powertrain is now placed under the flat floor, which allows for an elongated wheelbase.
This results in a bigger interior space, including a large storage area between the front seats, but also leads to shorter overhangs, a lower hood, and a optimized roof design.
According to the company, this approach improves aerodynamic efficiency, which in turn provides a longer range.
The Concept Recharge also introduces a new Volvo design language that removes all “unnecessary elements.” Its styling is more streamlined and simple than current models, while its interior is stripped back, aiming to echo the feeling of a “Scandinavian living room.”
Robin Page, Senior Vice President of Design, explained:
The interior integrates our latest user experience technology with beautiful, sustainable and natural materials. Each part of the interior is like a piece of art and could stand alone as individual furniture in a room. We use the latest technologies but not for their own sake. We always focus on the benefits that technologies can bring.
In line with this vision, the concept car features a 15-inch infotainment touchscreen, “designed for intuitive and logical use that helps provide a calm experience.”
Finally, the car includes a a roof-mounted LiDAR sensor. This enables data collection around the vehicle, as well as allowing Volvo to enhance its autonomous driving technology in the coming years.
Unfortunately, there’s no indication whether the Concept Charge will actually evolve into a production car, or when we can expect to buy a next-gen Volvo EV based on this blueprint.
Be that as it may, I have personally recharged my expectations of Volvo. It remains to see if the “less is more” philosophy will attract SUV buyers, who usually look for the “something extra.”
Do EVs excite your electrons? Do ebikes get your wheels spinning? Do self-driving cars get you all charged up?
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