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(Pocket-lint) - Volvo will be unveiling its first electric car on 16 October - an electric version of the XC40 SUV.

As you might expect from Volvo, the company is already talking about how safe this car is. There's some meat to those comments too, with Volvo saying that it had to make changes to this model to ensure it had the strength once the combustion engine had been removed.

That means there's a reinforced nose - with a closed off grille on this EV - as well as a safety cage around the battery, to keep both that and the passengers safe.

The XC40 electric SUV is based on Volvo's CMA (compact modular architecture), which was designed to incorporate electric vehicles from its inception. That sees the battery in the floor of the car (like most others) and freeing up space in other areas. 

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There's 30 litres of storage in the front of the car, for example, while that enclosed grille now also hides the sensors for the driver assistance systems this car will offer. 

We'd expect the electric version of the XC40 to be very much like the diesel version which we really like. It's also going to punch into the SUV market which isn't hugely populated with electric models. There's the Kia Soul, Hyundai Kona Electric, Jaguar i-Pace and Audi e-tron - then the Tesla Model X, for example. 

Volvo says that this electric model hangs on to many of the things that have made the XC40 one its best-selling models, while also incorporating a new driver interface packed with all the information that an EV driver needs. 

We're not expecting any huge design surprises, but then the XC40 looks great anyway. The key details - price, range and performance remain a mystery, but rumours suggest we might be looking at a dual motor setup and around 250 miles of range.

Writing by Chris Hall.