Volvo XC40 Recharge EV SUV Begins Production

The first of a very long line of fully electric Volvo models has began production. 

Volvo announced today that the Volvo XC40 has finally began mass production. The first of presumably many fully electrified Volvos, this new compact e-SUV marks the beginning in the automaker’s ambitious environmental goals for its future. 

Built in the Belgian city of Ghent, the Swedish marque said that scheduled deliveries of the first XC40 Recharge models will take place later this month to customers in Europe. Volvo has touted that demand for this compact fully-electric SUV has been strong, with all units planed for production this year having found new homes. That said, the automaker is keen to point out that bookings can still be made for next year’s batch of EV XC40s.

Starting at £53,155 (RM 285,000), the Recharge variant of Volvo’s best-selling SUV is pricey, but not only is it a pretty competent EV for the price, specs-wise at least its also nothing short of what you’ll expect from the premium Swedish marque. Much like its piston-powered counterparts, the XC40 Recharge is based on the Compact Modular Architecture platform, which was incidentally co-developed with its parent company, Geely. The similarities with its fossil-fuel burning counterpart can be observed from within the cabin too, as the usual Volvo fare can also be found in this EV. Including the Android-powered infotainment system and usual leather and wood trimmings.

Like any other Volvo too, safety has been made a priority, with a completely redesigned and reinforced frontal structure to compensate for the lack of an engine-up front in the event of a crash. The under-floor battery pack too is protected within a safety cage embedded within the XC40’s structure. 

Speaking of the batteries though, the 78 kWh battery pack supplies power to twin 201 hp electric motors mounted on either axle. Thus generating a combined power output of 402 hp and 487 lb ft of torque. A 4.9 second 0 – 100 km/h time is certainly impressive, but perhaps not as impressive as the WLTP projected range of over 400 km on a single charge. What more is that the XC40 Recharge claims to take only 40 minutes to charge the batteries to 80%, when plugged into a fast-charger system that is. 

Volvo XC40 Recharge

Considering that the Volvo XC40 is also a relatively common sight in Malaysia, perhaps Volvo Malaysia might consider bringing in this EV variant too. Though not the first premium marque to bring in an electric car, this e-SUV will probably sway prospective buyers with more practical needs to an electric future. 

PRESS RELEASE: The XC40 Recharge is the first of several fully electric Volvos to come and today’s production start represents a significant step towards Volvo Cars’ ambition to reduce its CO2 footprint per car by 40 per cent by 2025. That same year, it expects 50 per cent of its global sales to consist of fully electric cars, with the rest hybrids.

Customer demand for the XC40 Recharge has been strong and while order books remain open, every car scheduled to be built this calendar year has already been sold. The first cars are scheduled to be delivered to customers in Europe later this month.

The start of customer car production follows a period of preparation in which the Ghent plant has built a limited number of pre-production cars. This process, standard procedure for every new model, aims to optimise the production flow and ensure top-notch quality of every car built. All relevant production staff has also received extensive training on safely building electric cars.

“Today is a momentous occasion for Volvo Cars and for all employees here in Ghent,” said Javier Varela, head of global industrial operations and quality. “As we continue to electrify our line-up, the Ghent plant is a real trailblazer for our global manufacturing network.”

2020 Volvo XC40 Recharge EV

As a fully electric version of the best-selling XC40 SUV, the first Volvo to win the prestigious European Car of the Year award, the XC40 Recharge is based on the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), an advanced vehicle platform co-developed within the Geely Group.

The all-wheel drive XC40 Recharge offers a projected range of over 400 km (WLTP, Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure) on a single charge and output of 408hp. The battery can charge to 80 per cent of its capacity in approximately 40 mins on a fast-charger system.

The new, Android-powered infotainment system offers customers unprecedented personalisation, improved levels of intuitiveness and embedded Google technology and services, such as the Google Assistant, Google Maps and the Google Play Store. The XC40 Recharge also receives larger software and operating system updates over the air.

While building on the excellent safety standards of the original XC40, Volvo Cars safety engineers have completely redesigned and reinforced the frontal structure to address the absence of an engine, meet Volvo’s high safety requirements and help keep people as safe as in any other Volvo.

The battery pack is protected by a safety cage embedded in the middle of the car’s body structure. Its placement in the floor of the car also lowers the centre of gravity of the car, for better protection against roll-overs.

Inside, an innovative approach to all-round functionality gives drivers plenty of storage space, for example in the doors and in the trunk. Because it has no internal combustion engine, the car gives drivers even more storage space via a so-called ‘frunk’ under the front hood.

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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