According to a media report, Volvo will produce the fully-electric version of its XC90 SUV model at its Ridgeville plant in South Carolina and will also build a plant to produce the battery packs for the model on the site starting this autumn.
The battery plant should be completed in time for the company to start production of the new XC90 in South Carolina in early 2022. At least that is what the local newspaper Post and Courier writes. Volvo production manager Dallas Bolen told the paper that the company had decided to assemble the batteries at the Ridgeville plant because it would be too expensive to produce batteries at another location and then transport them to South Carolina for installation.
In addition to battery assembly, the expansion will include a second production line, a training centre and additional offices. The cost of the expansion is estimated in the report at 600 million dollars.
The South Carolina plant was announced in 2015 and opened in 2017. Currently, only one model is produced there, the mid-size sedan S60. Many of the S60s are exported, including to Europe. The S60 is the first Swedish model in which diesel is no longer offered, but only gasoline engines with different levels of hybridization. There are however no plans for a fully electric version of the S60.
This is different with the large SUV XC90. Its current generation was already presented in 2014. So it is quite possible that the successor will already be on the market in 2022 or that the current model will receive a comprehensive facelift in the course of the BEV launch. The XC90 was then the first model of the Swedes to be based on the specially developed SPA (scalable product architecture) construction kit. The XC90 Recharge’s electric drive, which is not yet known in detail, and the batteries should, therefore, be able to be used in other models of the 60 and 90 series in only a slightly modified form, as these are all based on the construction kit.
However, the XC40 Recharge, which is scheduled to be Volvo’s first e-car at the end of this year, is based on the smaller CMA platform and is therefore technically not related to the future XC90 Recharge.