Updated: Dec 2, 2019
Hello everyone and welcome back to another ChargeSmart blog! Today we will be talking about Volvo's entrance into the EV market and more specifically about their first EV, the XC40 Recharge.
When Volvo released their brand-new small SUV, the XC40 last year, it quickly became one of the most notable cars of the year. It took out several awards at the World Car of the Year Awards and AA’s New Zealand Car of the year award. The XC40 had a certain Swedish quirkiness to it that made it attractive, it was comfortable and well thought out. It was also the ideal project for Volvo’s first ever electric vehicle. The XC40 recharge represents the start of a new era for Volvo as they look to launch a whole range of electric models over the next few years.
The XC40 also accomplishes another 'first' for Volvo because it uses a Google powered Android infotainment system with an upgraded voice assistant, something that is usually a source of trouble for most manufacturers.
The Swedish carmaker already sells plug in hybrids (PHEVs) across their range but their latest campaign involves a range of pure EVs. They are calling this the Recharge program. They plan to have an entire range of EVs on sale by the end of next year with the first one being the XC40. They also want to sell EVs and hybrids in a 50:50 split by the year 2025. They plan to do this by asking all website visitors to pick a preference between EV or non-EV. Volvo will also be giving away a year's worth of free electricity to those who buy their EVs. Their ultimate goal is to reduce their carbon footprint by 40% by the time 2025 is upon us.
What's new with the XC40 Recharge?
Enough about Volvo's targets, let's talk about the XC40 itself! Well, if you're asking what's new then you'll be glad to know that there isn't much. Apart from the elephant in the room of course which is the petrol engine being swapped for an electric motor. The car will have a 78kWh battery fitted with an estimated range of around 400 kms (200 miles). The XC40 can also be fast DC-charged that allows the car to be charged from 10 to 80% in 40 minutes - OK so that's par for the course these days. The XC40 Recharge will go from 0-100 in 4.9 seconds which makes it faster than the petrol model and takes it into hot hatch territory. Overall, it has about 408bhp on tap which is the equivalent of an old BMW M5 or a Range Rover Sport. That sounds fast, but there are a lot of EVs coming to market which make this look slow. The car is set to go on sale later next year, adding to the idea that 2020 is the year of the electric vehicle.