Volvo’s first fully-electric vehicle will boast a range of at least 400 km when it arrives on the market in 2019, with starting prices between US$35,000-$40,000 (RM155,786-RM178,042); these are the targets the company has to meet if it is to do well in the US market, said Lex Kerssemakers, chief executive officer of Volvo Car USA to Automotive News.

“That’s what I put in as the prerequisite for the United States. If I want to make a point in the US, if I want to make volumes, that’s what I believe I need,” Kerssemakers said. There has been no confirmation on specific models to gain the full EV drivetrain, though it will be developed with modular battery packs that will fit the company’s Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) and Scalable Product Architecture platforms.

The CMA will underpin the upcoming XC40, which is slated for debut this year, while the SPA forms the basis for the likes of the XC90, S90/V90, and just-launched XC60. Though the eventual form of Volvo’s EV has yet to be confirmed, it will need to have far greater range than customers will actually need, says Kerssemakers; a 100kWh battery will feature in the model slated for a 2019 release.

“Why are people reluctant to buy a full electric car? It’s between the ears. It’s that they believe there’s not sufficient range,” he said. Additionally, electric cars have no need to be ugly, said Dr. Peter Mertens, senior vice president, Research and Development at Volvo.

“I always ask myself the question, ‘why the hell do electric vehicles have to be ugly? I don’t see any reason in that and we said from the beginning, it doesn’t matter if you have a combustion engine, plug-in hybrid or battery electric, you’ll have a beautiful Volvo with all the safety features, all the comfort, and all the ingredients that Volvo have to offer and not somebody yelling, ‘I’m different, I’m different, I’m electric’,” Mertens said.

GALLERY: Volvo 40.1 and 40.2 concepts