Volvo's smallest SUV gets full EV treatment. Pic:SUPPLIED
Volvo's smallest SUV gets full EV treatment. Pic:SUPPLIED

Set to be officially revealed later this month, the battery-powered XC40 Electric will, according to Volvo, be one of the safest vehicles on the roads thanks to its completely redesigned and reinforced frontal structure.

"Regardless of what drives a car forward, be it an electric machine or combustion engine, a Volvo must be safe," says Malin Ekholm, head of safety at Volvo Cars. "The fully electric XC40 will be one of the safest cars we have ever built."

To help keep passengers safe and the battery intact in the event of a collision, Volvo also developed a new safety structure for passengers and battery alike.

In the XC40 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.

Electric XC40 layout of battery and electric motors designed for safety in case of a crash. Pic:SUPPLIED
Electric XC40 layout of battery and electric motors designed for safety in case of a crash. Pic:SUPPLIED

In terms of active safety systems, the XC40 Electric is the first Volvo to be equipped with a new Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) sensor platform with software developed by Zenuity, the joint venture company owned by Volvo Cars and Veoneer.

In a nutshell ADAS is a scalable active safety system that consists of an array of radars, cameras and ultrasonic sensors. Because of its scalable nature it can easily be developed further and lays the foundation for the future introduction of autonomous drive technology.

Volvo will reveal the fully electric XC40 to the public on October 16 2019. It’s yet to be confirmed whether the vehicle will come to SA.