Automotive

Published on March 9th, 2021 | by Amirul Mukminin

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Volvo XC20 Could Pave The Way For Proton’s First EV

Just like the upcoming Volvo XC20, Proton could utilise Geely’s SEA platform for its first ever EV

As you might recall, the unveiling of the C40 Recharge was accompanied by the announcement of Volvo’s plans to become a fully electric car company by 2030. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that the next car to come from the Swedish automaker will be a pure electric vehicle.

BHPetrol_Euro5 Diesel_2021

According to a recent report by Auto Express, Volvo could introduce an EV subcompact SUV nicknamed the ‘XC20’. Unlike its larger XC40 and C40 siblings, both of which are underpinned by the CMA platform, the XC20 could be based on Geely’s Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) platform.

First introduced at last year’s Beijing Auto Show, the SEA platform is developed exclusively for battery-powered electric vehicles. It has several plus points, including the ability to accommodate smaller A-segment through to larger D- and E-segment vehicles, as well as single-, dual- or triple-motor configurations.

Speaking to Auto Express, Volvo president and CEO Hakan Samuelsson revealed that his engineers are already working on SEA-based models and the XC20 will be one of them.

Renders by Theophilus Chin

“We will also use SEA. We’ll use it for a smaller car, where I think it’s very practical and smart for us to share that, so we can have a cost structure for a smaller car that’s very competitive. It’s difficult to push the CMA platform, which is a combination platform for EVs and combustion-engined cars, further down. So if you want to do a smaller car than XC40 then SEA can do it. We will use it for that,” he said.

Now that Volvo’s upcoming model is pretty much confirmed to be using the SEA platform, it is perhaps not too nonsensical to suggest that the platform could also be utilised to develop Proton’s first ever mass-market all-electric vehicle. After all, Geely did say that the SEA platform will be deployed across its portfolio of nine global automotive brands, which include the national automaker.

Of course, the hypothetical Proton EV simply can’t be a rebadged version the XC20 due to the status difference between the two brands. Going down the rebadging route as it did with the Geely Boyue and Binyue for the X70 and X50 is also not possible for Proton, as Geely has yet to announce its first SEA-based model. Interestingly, the first model to be based on the SEA architecture will be the Lynk & Co Zero Concept, which is expected to go into production this year.

So, the only choice left for the Malaysian automaker, if they ultimately decide to take the green leap of faith, is to come up with their own design. Now, that would be very interesting to see as we know that the Proton design team has been working closely with Geely and Volvo over the last few years. With Perodua already hinting at electrification, a new war between the two local carmakers could be brewing in the near future and the Malaysian car buyers could actually benefit from it.

Volvo XC20” render by Theophilus Chin.

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