The 2020 Volvo XC40 Recharge is Volvo's first EV

17 October 2019 - autoblog

The 2020 Volvo XC40 Recharge is Volvo's first EV

Volvo enters the EV fray with a familiar face

Polestar may be the first brand you think of when pondering electric Swedes these days, but Volvo has one now, too. It's called the XC40 Recharge, and it's exactly what you'd expect an electric version of the XC40 to be.

Here are the vitals: It has a 78 kWh battery pack good for 200 miles on a full charge (based on EU WLTP testing), leaving it on the lower side of range. Volvo says it can charge up to 80 percent in 40 minutes when fast charging. Two electric motors do the hustling, giving the XC40 all-wheel drive. Those motors put out a combined 402 horsepower and 487 pound-feet of torque, and Volvo says it'll get to 62 mph in just 4.9 seconds — impressive numbers for this class of vehicle.

Most of the styling is regular XC40 fare. However, there are obvious electric car touches seen throughout, such as the solid panel replacing the grille and the elimination of the car's tailpipes via a redesigned rear bumper. Every battery-powered XC40 gets a black roof and comes with unique 19-inch or 20-inch wheels. There's a little "Recharge" badge on the crossover's C-pillar, as well.

We're already smitten with the XC40's interior, so the mostly carryover interior is great news. A new driver interface was designed specifically for electric car duty, and the floor mats are made of recycled materials. The infotainment system is running on a Google-based Android-powered system. This brings the lovely Google Assistant and its impressive voice recognition into the car. Over-the-air updates will also be available for the XC40, keeping not just the infotainment, but all the tech in the car up to date. Think of it in the same vein as Tesla's over-the-air updates — new features could be coming to the car as time elapses.

Volvo designed the electric XC40 on the same modular CMA platform as the gasoline XC40. Engineers long held that this platform was built with electrification in mind, so it's not hugely compromised. Its battery rides under the car's floor, and extra bracing was added to the engine compartment. Fear not, though, there's still a small frunk to store a few of your smaller belongings. One neat feature that all XC40 Recharge owners will be able to take advantage of is free electricity for a year. Customers will be refunded for their "average electricity cost during that period."

The XC40 Recharge is set to go on sale soon, but we're still waiting on an official date for U.S. sales. Pricing hasn't been announced either, but expect a fair premium over top of a regular XC40. Volvo also laid out a plan for its electric cars of the future, committing to revealing one fully electric vehicle every year through 2025. Every Volvo with a plug will also be branded or rebranded "Recharge" come early 2020. This includes current PHEV models like the XC60 T8 or S60 T8 plug-in hybrids. From here on out, when you go to a Volvo dealer, you'll be faced with the choice between a "Recharge" model or a regular version of that car.

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