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Volvo XC40 Recharge, a 408-HP Electric SUV, Will Be Here in a Year

The first EV from Volvo promises up to 250 miles of range and a price under $50,000.

By Ben Stewart, Car and Driver

  • The first Volvo EV will be this XC40 Recharge, which makes 408 horsepower and will offer up to 250 miles of range between charges.
  • Volvo is positioning the XC40 Recharge to compete against Tesla and upper-crust EV competitors with Android entertainment, fast charging, over-the-air upgrades, and zero to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds.
  • The XC40 Recharge will be on sale in late 2020 and priced under $50,000.

Today, Volvo introduced its very first completely electric vehicle, the XC40 Recharge, and it's just as handsome as the gasoline-powered XC40. The XC40 Recharge will be the first in a lineup of Recharge-branded EVs and plug-in hybrids. Over the next half decade, the company says it will launch one new EV every year and pledges to make half its lineup fully electric by 2025.

The Recharge's all-wheel-drive electric powertrain develops 408 horsepower, which makes it snappy enough to go from zero to 60 mph in a claimed 4.7 seconds. Volvo says the Recharge can travel nearly 250 miles on a charge using Europe's WLTP standards, and although those are more lenient than U.S. numbers, range is at least as good as and could be better than the range of the presumably more expensive Jaguar I-Pace or Audi e-tron. Volvo says that the Recharge has a 78.0-kWh battery pack supplied by both LG and CATL; that's to ensure enough to meet demand, according to the automaker. It charges to 80 percent in 7.5 hours at home and in 40 minutes using a fast-charging system that we estimate at 50 kW; Volvo hasn't yet teamed up with a charging network.

The XC40 Recharge is based on the 2016 40.1 concept and uses Volvo’s Compact Modular Architecture, which was designed from the outset to accommodate electrification. Still, to shore up the structure and ensure Volvo’s safety reputation remains intact, engineers redesigned and reinforced the front structure. The floor-mounted battery pack is also surrounded by an aluminum safety cage, which the company says creates a crumple zone for the battery. That could explain the stated curb weight of 4840 pounds—about 1000 pounds heavier than the heaviest gasoline XC40.

The new XC40 Recharge is the first Volvo to use the new Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS), which they say is a scalable sensor system with a variety of cameras, radar, and ultrasonic sensors. The goal? Eventual autonomous driving, of course.

On the inside, the XC40 Recharge will use a new Android-based infotainment system designed by Google. Volvo says that Google Assistant, Google Maps, and the Google Play store will all be built into the Android Automotive OS setup, and the car will be the first Volvo capable of over-the-air updates. 

How very Tesla-like.

The XC40 Recharge will be available in eight colors with a standard contrasting black roof and wear either 19-inch or 20-inch wheels. On the inside, the Recharge's carpets are made from recycled materials, and under that front hood is a small compartment that holds about a cubic foot of stuff.

Volvo says it will soon triple its capacity for electrified cars, as every Volvo model in the company's lineup will eventually have a Recharge model. The company has vowed that it will increase the "take rate" on plug-in hybrid vehicles from the current 4 percent to 20 percent of its total sales for 2020. To help build demand, Volvo says its will give owners of its plug-in hybrids free electricity for a year through a reimbursement program that accounts for the average electricity usage for that time frame.

The arrival of the first Volvo EV seals the fact that the electric-vehicle landscape has evolved. The first EVs, those basic, bland, and oddly shaped transportation pods, have made way for fashionable and practical entries. You know, the types of cars people actually want to own. Tesla pioneered that trend; Jaguar and Audi have brought out big, handsome electric crossovers; and most recently, Porsche let us slide behind the wheel of its dynamic Taycan. With the XC40 Recharge, the future of compelling EVs is here.


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Autos News: Volvo XC40 Recharge, a 408-HP Electric SUV, Will Be Here in a Year
Volvo XC40 Recharge, a 408-HP Electric SUV, Will Be Here in a Year
The first EV from Volvo promises up to 250 miles of range and a price under $50,000.
Autos News
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