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Volvo’s electric vehicle will fight Tesla’s Model 3 and Chevy’s Bolt EV for buyers

Why it matters to you

More affordable, long-range electric vehicle options will help bring fuel-free transportation to the masses.

Chevrolet’s new Bolt EV has made a big splash, earning numerous accolades and awards. Digital Trends was among those praising the pure electric vehicle for its impressive range, driving dynamics, styling, and interior volume.

Part of what makes the Bolt so impressive is how quickly Chevy introduced an EV with well over 200 miles of range, for $36,000. For now, those specs are unmatched in the marketplace. However, with Tesla working on its entry-level Model 3 and Nissan preparing a new Leaf, the Bolt’s uniqueness may be short-lived.

It would appear Volvo wants in on the affordable electric vehicle action as well, as Volvo Car USA’s CEO, Lex Kerssemakers shed some light on their upcoming model. Most importantly, the EV will have a range of at least 250 miles and will be priced between $35,000 and $40,000 (before tax incentives).

Despite Volvo’s luxury bent, a sticker price of up to $40,000 could easily cannibalize the Bolt EV’s sales when the model goes on sale in 2019. Tesla plans to have its Model 3 out before then, but with the first vehicle deliveries expected to be higher-priced examples, the “$35K Model 3” may not actually ship until around the same time as Volvo’s creation.

No other premium automaker has claimed to be developing a long-range EV in the sub-$40,000 domain. Jaguar is working on its I-Pace production car, but that will be priced at more than $60,000. BMW’s i3 is in the low-$40,000 range, but doesn’t match the range advertised by the Bolt EV or upcoming Tesla and Volvo models.

The forthcoming Volvo EV will be based on the 40.2 concept shown last year, meaning the vehicle will likely be a derivative of the next-generation S40 sedan. There’s also a good chance Volvo will produce a compact crossover variant of the EV, based on the next-generation XC40 (previewed by the 40.1 concept). This would match up against Tesla’s planned Model Y crossover.

Like other brands, Volvo is hurrying to introduce more plug-in hybrids and EVs to meet strict emissions regulations and appeal to buyers on the hunt for luxury alternative energy vehicles.