As all automotive manufacturers, Volvo is gearing up to becoming fully electric. That is just what the future holds for personal transportation. Volvo is introducing its first fully electric car – XC40 Recharge. Get used to hearing that name.
Electric cars are becoming cool. They are fast and stylish, while also delivering the promise of being environmentally friendly, compared to ICE-powered cars. That is why people are willing to pay premium for rather expensive electric vehicles. You know what else is popular right now? You guessed it – compact SUVs.
Volvo XC40, manufactured since November 2017, was designed with an idea that someday it would become fully electric – that was Volvo’s strategy going forward. And so XC40 Recharge is not that much different from a regular ICE-powered XC40. Probably the aerodynamic block, covering the front grille is the biggest visual change. Of course, the most important changes happened under its skin.
78 kWh battery pack of the Volvo XC40 Recharge is neatly situated under the floor. It does reduce the ground clearance a bit (from 211 mm to 175), but you can be certain that buyers of this car won’t care about that sort of stuff. What they will care about is the range and power – whole 400 km (WLTP) on a single charge and output of 408hp. XC40 Recharge is still an SUV and its power is delivered to all four wheels.
Volvo XC40 Recharge can be recharged using an 11 kW AC charger, but it will charge much quicker using a 150 kW DC fast-charger, which, as Volvo claims, can deliver an 80% charge in 40 minutes. This means that XC40 Recharge will be rather useful for longer trips. Since it doesn’t have an engine, there is a 31 litre frunk, but the overall luggage space shrunk from 460 to 413 litres. Meantime, the weight grew from 1497 to 2150 kg, but that is probably not going to be an issue, since XC40 Recharge has all of the new safety and stability tech.
XC40 Recharge is also Volvo’s first car with Google Android infotainment system, which is fully integrated with Volvo On Call, the company’s digital connected services platform.
With the new Recharge lineup Volvo is the only car maker to offer a plug-in variant on every model. Recharge option will be available on every car – from smaller sedans to biggest SUVs. Volvo is expecting that 20 % of all its sales next year will be hybrid cars. And it is preparing for it – factories are gearing up for a production increase of electrified cars.
But that’s not all. Volvo aims to become a climate-neutral company by 2040, which pretty much means that it will produce electric cars only at that point. Hopefully, they will be cheaper.