The announcement at the Shanghai auto show adds to a flurry of plans by major automakers to roll out electric models in China, their industry's biggest market. The ruling Communist Party has the world's most aggressive electric vehicle goals, both to clean up smog-shrouded cities and seeking the lead in an emerging industry.
On Tuesday, General Motors Co. said it will produce a gasoline-electric hybrid version of its Chevrolet Volt in China. Ford, Volkswagen AG, Nissan Motor Co. and other brands also have plans to sell electric models in China, adding to competition in a market dominated so far by lower-cost Chinese producers.
Volvo said its first pure-electric model will be based on the economy-size CMA platform it shares with Chinese automaker Geely, which bought the Swedish brand from Ford in 2010. It said the name, size and other details were yet to be decided.
"It will be for global export. So it is built from the start to work all over the world," said Henrik Green, Volvo's senior vice president for research and development.
Volvo has three factories in China and in 2015 became the first automaker to export Chinese-made cars to the United States.
Models on display at Auto Shanghai 2017, the global industry's biggest marketing event of the year, reflect the conflict between Beijing's ambitions to promote environmentally friendly propulsion and Chinese consumers' love of hulking, fuel-hungry SUVs.