GOTHENBURG, Sweden—Engineers at Volvo Cars here are developing electric motors for use in the company’s next-generation vehicles. The automaker has also opened a new electric motor lab in Shanghai.

“Taking over the role of the internal combustion engine in car engineering, e-motors are a fundamental building block of electric cars, together with the battery and power electronics,” says Henrik Green, chief technology officer at Volvo Cars. “The interplay between these three component areas is crucial in developing premium electric cars.

“Bringing the development of electric motors in-house will allow [our] engineers to further optimize electric motors and the entire electric driveline in new Volvos,” explains Green. “This approach will [enable us] to make further gains in terms of energy efficiency and overall performance.

“Through in-house design and development, we can fine-tune our e-motors to ever better levels,” claims Green. “By constantly improving their overall performance levels in terms of energy efficiency and comfort, we create an electric driving experience that is unique to Volvo.”

E-motors enable hallmark features that electric cars are known for, such as instant acceleration and one-pedal driving (using the gas pedal both for acceleration and deceleration, depending on whether drivers push in or lift their foot off the pedal).