Volvo has announced that they have begun production of their new electric vehicle, the XC40 Recharge. This SUV represents the company’s first of several fully electric Volvos.
In a previous life, the XC40 Recharge was a hybrid, but now, it’s being offered in what it should have always been (as the name suggests), a full-electric vehicle.
The XC40 Recharge Electric is good for 4.9s 0-100km/h, and you can keep on driving for up to 418km, not bad for it’s 78 kWh battery pack.
If you’re someone who likes the utility of SUVs, you’ll be glad to know that you can tow a payload of up to 1,500 kg with the vehicle.
Volvo says customer demand for the XC40 Recharge has been strong and while order books remain open, every car scheduled to be built this calendar year has already been sold.
The first cars are scheduled to be delivered to customers in Europe later this month.
Volvo’s performance brand Polestar, began their electric vehicle production back in March this year, but it’s a more significant announcement to have Volvo Cars be producing and soon delivering customer cars that are electric, for the simple reason of volume.
The start of customer car production follows a period of preparation in which the Ghent plant has built a limited number of pre-production cars.
This process, standard procedure for every new model, aims to optimise the production flow and ensure top-notch quality of every car built. All relevant production staff has also received extensive training on safely building electric cars.
“Today is a momentous occasion for Volvo Cars and for all employees here in Ghent. As we continue to electrify our line-up, the Ghent plant is a real trailblazer for our global manufacturing network.”Javier Varela, head of global industrial operations and quality.
The XC40 Recharge is based on Volvo’s successful XC40 SUV, build on the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), an advanced vehicle platform co-developed within the Geely Group.
While the design of a car is open to personal preferences, the range figures for the XC50 Recharge, definitely makes it a decent competitor.
The all-wheel drive XC40 Recharge offers a projected range of over 400 km (WLTP rated) on a single charge and output of 408hp. The battery can charge to 80% of its capacity in approximately 40 mins on a fast-charger system (up to 150kW).
When it comes to infotainment, the XC40 is Android-powered and offers customers lots of personalisation, an improved levels of intuitiveness and embedded Google technology and services, such as the Google Assistant, Google Maps and the Google Play Store. The XC40 Recharge also receives larger software and operating system updates over the air.
While it’s great to state that at launch, OTA updates are really going to be watched closely over the coming weeks and months to see how rapidly Volvo can deliver on the software side of things. Naturally relying on a 3rd party’s software platform, rather than building your own, means there is a dependency on another company, so we’ll see how this plays out long-term.
Volvo’s safety engineers have completely redesigned and reinforced the frontal structure to address the absence of an engine, meet Volvo’s high safety requirements and help keep people as safe as in any other Volvo.
The battery pack is protected by a safety cage embedded in the middle of the car’s body structure. Its placement in the floor of the car also lowers the centre of gravity of the car, for better protection against roll-overs.
Inside, an innovative approach to all-round functionality gives drivers plenty of storage space, for example in the doors and in the trunk. Because it has no internal combustion engine, the car gives drivers even more storage space via a so-called ‘frunk’ under the front hood.
Ultimately, it’s just great to see another all-electric vehicle enter the market and provide consumers choice. Do I think it’s enough to take on the Tesla Model Y? Probably not, but the Volvo loyalists, should definitely be tempted.
There’s starting to be some serious competition in the SUV segment, with the Mercedes EQC, the Audi E-tron, the upcoming Ford Mach-E and now this, the Volvo XC40 Recharge. Exciting times ahead.
Timing of an Australian launch for the XC40 Recharge Electric is yet to be confirmed.