Volvo has detailed development of its forthcoming fully electric Volvo XC40 SUV ahead of an October launch.
“Regardless of what drives a car forward, be it an electric machine or combustion engine, a Volvo must be safe,” said Malin Ekholm, head of safety at Volvo Cars. “The fully electric XC40 will be one of the safest cars we have ever built.”
While building on the safety standards of the original XC40, Volvo Cars safety engineers had to completely redesign and reinforce the frontal structure to deal with the absence of an engine.
“The fundamentals around safety are the same for this car as for any other Volvo. People are inside, and the car needs to be designed to be safe for them,” added Ekholm.
The battery is protected by a safety cage which consists of a frame of extruded aluminum and has been embedded in the middle of the car’s body structure, creating a built-in crumple zone around the battery.
The battery’s placement in the floor of the car also has the benefit of lowering the center of gravity of the car, for better protection against roll-overs.
The car’s body structure has not just been reinforced in the front, but also at the rear. Here, the electric powertrain was integrated into the body structure to better distribute collision forces away from the cabin and thus reduce strain on people inside the car.