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Meet the Volvo XC40 Recharge

October 18, 2019

Volvo embraces 100% EV with introduction of XC40 Recharge

Volvo has been steadily moving forward with battery powered vehicles and began incorporated plug-in hybrids such as the well received XC90 T8 Hybrid. While the T8 could operate on pure battery mode, performance is diminished and range is a paltry 19 miles. That may be fine for the daily pickup & dropoff of kids going to school or a short work commute.

The newly announced XC40 Recharge dives head first into the EV pool and 100% battery powered. With the recent trend in small SUV formfactors and beating Tesla to the punch before they launch their Model Y, we believe the XC40 Recharge will be a hit and is the perfect EV launch model for Volvo.

 

Luxury Compact SUV- Safe, Stylish and 100% EV

The Volvo XC40 Recharge is scheduled to be released late 2020 as a 2021 model. This marks the first 100% battery powered plug-in EV from Volvo and shows the committment Volvo has towards electrified vehicles. After the $7500 US Federal Tax rebate, the target price for the XC40 Recharge should be less than $48k. To encourage adoption, Volvo is offering a year of free charging that will take the form of a refund based on average electricity charges in your area. This seems a bit overcomplicated to administer in our opinion but kudo’s to Volvo for incenting EV adoption.

A lot of effort has gone into the new infotainment system. Volvo has been working with Google for the past couple years on development of an Android based infotainment system that is both intuitive and responsive. The new infotainment system will also allow for Apple Carplay. This system sounds very similar to the one announced by Polestar so you may want to look at the Polestar infotainment app for a demo. Volvo also confirmed over-the-air updates. We haven’t confirmed this for the Polestar 2 but since XC40 Recharge will have this feature, it is pretty safe to assume Polestar 2 will also have it. The vehicle will likely also be a candidate for the Volvo Care subscription program.

Volvo is taking an aggressive approach to EV’s. While most brands may debate whether to create a new EV brand or build a sub-brand, Volvo seems to be doing both. Polestar is the distinctive new brand that can create it’s own value proposition focused on performance while the “Recharge” sub-brand will carry the values of Volvo more strongly namely safety and understated luxury. The Polestar 2 vs XC40 Recharge will definitely be cross-shopped.

 

Solid Performance Plenty for Most

The dual motor AWD drivetrain is capable of delivering 408 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. The result is a nimble compact SUV capable of going from 0-60 mph is just 4.8 seconds. We find it funny that people have become spoiled with how quick EV’s are and would consider 4.8 seconds to be on the slow side. While slower than the 3.2 seconds of the Tesla Performance Model 3, it is still faster than the standard Model 3 time of 5.3 seconds. When compared to gas cars such as the BMW X3 which has a 0-60 time of 6.3 seconds, the XC40 Recharge is downright fast. In fact, we almost feel that they could have lowered the speed/torque a bit more to help improve battery efficiency as this gets a bit too close to Polestar 2 performance in our opinion. (Polestar 2 0-60 mph = 4.7 seconds). We would gladly take 5.3 seconds for an additional 10mph range if possible.

Moderate Range

The XC40 Recharge features a 78 kWh battery estimated to provide a range of 248 miles per charge based on European measurement standards. Formal US EPA range estimates will likely be in the 200-225 range. Both AC and DC charging capability with DC charging up to 150kW fast charging which should give you 80% capacity in 40 minutes.

The Volvo XC40 Recharge gets so many things right and is wrapped in a stunning form factor. The relatively low range will likely be the main sore spot among shoppers.

Interestingly, the Polestar 2 also features a 78kWh battery so likely sharing the components. However, the Polestar 2 is estimated to get 275 miles of range. Both of these ranges are estimates at this time so it will be interesting to see actual EPA range estimates. 

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About The Author

David Giacomini

Entrepreneur, inventor and passionate about marketing & branding. This blog is an opportunity to share thoughts on innovative technology, EV's, sustainable energy, tech gadgets and all things electric. Enjoy.