The XC40 Recharge is Volvo’s first electric car, and it is a Nordic beauty
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The XC40 Recharge is Volvo’s first electric car, and it is a Nordic beauty

2020 Volvo XC40 Recharge batteryImage used with permission by copyright holder

Update: The 2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge is an all-electric version of the Volvo XC40 crossover, which launched for the 2019 model year. While it comes with a not-insignificant price tag, our complete first drive review of the 2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge finds it well worth it. 

Here it is in all its glory — Volvo’s first fully electric vehicle. The 2020 Volvo XC40 Recharge charts a new path for the Swedish carmaker, while still retaining and expanding its famous focus on safety. Add in a dash of Scandinavian design and we have a winner on our hands.

Based on the conventional XC40, the EV version swaps out the four-cylinder engine for a battery pack and two electric motors (one front and one rear) setup boasting 408hp and 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds. The 78kwh battery can be quick-charged to 80% in just 40 minutes. Once fully charged, the XC40 Recharge is good for 400 kilometers or 200 miles of range – you might realize that those two numbers are not actually equivalent. 400 kilometers is actually 248 miles, which makes the Recharge much more competitive. It is currently unclear why Volvo is claiming 400km but only 200 miles, and we will update you when we learn more.

During the reveal, Volvo also announced that customers will receive an entire year of free charging. This will be done by a check at the end of the year for the average price of electricity over that time. Again, just like the range, a strange way to do things but this is how Volvo is doing it.

No price has been announced yet, but CTO Henrik Green told Digital Trends the Recharge will be “the only [luxury] SUV EV in this price range” and indicated that the price “will be closer to $50,000 than $100,000.” While the Hyundai NEXO is both an electric SUV and in this price range, Mr. Green does not consider that to be competition because of Volvo’s luxury brand presence.

Volvo Cars CEO Håkan Samuelsson told us that he wants to make sustainability as associated with the Volvo brand as safety is now. To that end, he aims to have 10-20% of all Volvos sold in the next few years to be hybrid of full electric. They also pledged to reduce their company carbon footprint (from raw materials, through to factory emissions and even individual car emissions) by 40% by 2025. He also shared that by 2025, all Volvos will be available in pure electric form. Fingers crossed for that one. On the movement from gasoline power to EV, he said “One you have an electric car, you won’t go back to conventional.”

The new XC40 Recharge streamlines the body and the interior of the standard XC40, while including a new 30-liter trunk where the engine used to be. Showcased in two-tone paint with a black roof and lower body sandwiching the pearl white bodyline. It is a nice blend of new- and old-school design.

The interior comes with plenty of cubby holes, recycled carpet, and a fully native Android OS infotainment system. This means the system will come pre-loaded with Google Maps, Assistant, and the Play Store to download more automotive-themed apps all without your phone. And don’t worry, if you’re an iPhone user you can still plug in your phone to enjoy CarPlay. As is Volvo’s style, the interior is a palace of tasteful and modern design.

2020 Volvo XC40 Recharge InteriorImage used with permission by copyright holder

The electric XC40 is the first Volvo that will receive software and operating system updates over the air. “We are finally giving you the same experience in your car that you’re used to on your phone, but adapted for safe interaction while driving,” Henrik Green, chief technology officer at Volvo Cars, said in a statement. “And by introducing over-the-air updates for everything from maintenance to completely new features, the car can stay as fresh as your other digital products, always with the latest and greatest features.”

The XC40 also touts the next generation of safety sensors, with its Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) sensor platform. This safety system consists of an array of radars, cameras and ultrasonic sensors. This system can easily be developed further for the future introduction of autonomous driving capability. But no love there quite yet.

Volvo has been making cars for 90 years, and the XC40 Recharge plots their course for the next 90.

2020 Volvo XC40 Recharge batteryImage used with permission by copyright holder

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