All-electric Volvo XC40 Recharge specifications, range and more

Fancy a stylish, safe compact SUV, but want it to be battery-powered? Look no further than the all-electric 2020 Volvo XC40 Recharge.

James Wilson
Nov 18, 2019

Welcome to the Volvo XC40 Recharge – aka Volvo’s first all-electric car. Prices and delivery dates are yet to be confirmed but Volvo has said that a range of around 249 miles is expected and charging from 10 to 80% should be possible in around 40 minutes, using a 150kW charging point.

Volvo is hitting the electrified car market hard. It plans to launch one all-electric vehicle per year over the next five years as part of its wider plans which it expects to result in all-electric cars accounting for half of its global sales by 2025. Or at least, that’s the target.

Quick facts

  • Volvo’s first all-electric car
  • Claimed range of 249 miles
  • Charge from 10 to 80% in 40 minutes
  • Towing capacity of 1,500kg
  • Combined power output of 408hp
  • Android-powered media system

To achieve such success, Volvo is creating something of a sub-brand for vehicles powered solely by batteries, similar to the ID name being stamped on electric VWs – this is where the Recharge title comes in.

Volvo is not alone in its assault on the electric car market; you think of any major car manufacturer (the likes of Ford, Volkswagen, Kia and BMW) and you can bet your bottom dollar they will be working on a handful of electrified vehicles right now.

 

That doesn’t mean there are no electric SUVs currently on sale to rival the XC40 Recharge.The all-electric Hyundai Kona SUV is arguably one of the most compelling electric car options currently available and there is the larger Kia e-Niro. There are also a wealth of plug-in hybrid SUVs on sale, including Volvo’s own plug-in XC40.

Volvo XC40 Recharge models and trims

Volvo is yet to announce official trims and specifications for its XC40 Recharge, however, if its current range of vehicles is anything to go by it will be available in entry-level Momentum, sporty R-Design and luxurious Inscription trim levels. On top of these core trims, Volvo also offers better equipped Pro variants – so Momentum Pro, R-Design Pro and Inscription Pro.

There is a possibility, of course, that Volvo may well change its naming structure for the all-electric models which sit under its Recharge sub-brand or simply include one specification, packed for of standard kit.

Volvo XC40 Recharge prices and delivery dates

While UK prices and delivery dates for the new Volvo XC40 Recharge are yet to be confirmed, don't expect a bargain basement price tag. After all, modern-day Volvos are very much upmarket affairs, with the prices to match. Thankfully, they are much more affordable than German alternatives used, so even if you're considering a one-year old model, you could save many thousands of pounds on a second-hand, barely-driven Volvo.

For perspective, the standard XC40 range kicks off at £29,000 but this rises to at least £41,000 if you want the plug-in hybrid model – £42,300 if you want to pack it full of desirable equipment. In general, all-electric vehicles in the UK tend to carry a higher price over hybrid or fossil-fuel-powered equivalents - even with the UK Government’s £3,500 plug-in car grant. Therefore, it seems likely that you'll need to spend around £45,000 upwards for the XC40 Recharge when it arrives.

Volvo XC40 Recharge range and charging

Volvo is claiming that its XC40 Recharge will be capable of travelling up to 249 miles on a single charge. Naturally though, the type of driving you are doing and external conditions will impact how much range the 78kWh battery pack will be able to provide. Cold temperatures are one of electric car drivers’ biggest enemies as these reduce the efficiency of the batteries, in turn reducing how far you can travel per charge.

Charge times depend on the power output of the charger used – XC40 Recharges can handle up to 150kW units. Plugged into a basic 3.5kW charge point (roughly the output of a UK household electric car charger) the XC40’s battery will reach 100% in around 18 and a half hours.

While this may seem a touch lengthy, it is about par for the course considering the battery is rated at a substantial 78kWh. Move up to an 11kW charge point and this is cut to five and a half hours. Volvo will install a domestic 11kW wallbox at your home for you should you wish to add that to your shopping list.

Owners lucky enough to have access to a 150kW charging station nearby, meanwhile, will be able to take an XC40 from 10 to 80% charge in as little as 40 minutes. Interestingly, Volvo recommends stopping at just 80% (unless further range is required for long-distance journeys) as it says it helps promote a longer battery life span compared with completely filling the battery.

When it comes to the cost of charging, there are a number of factors that affect cost, but as most electric car owners charge at home that is what the following information is based on.

A full charge assuming an electricity price of 13.8p per kWh means fully charging an XC40 Recharge will cost £10.76. For perspective, a Hyundai Kona costs £8.83 to charge. This still compares favourably with the cost of a tank of petrol or diesel. Compare the cost of charging other electric cars here.

Volvo XC40 Recharge rivals and alternatives

As mentioned earlier, the Volvo XC40 Recharge is not without a rival or two. Kia and Hyundai both have excellent all-electric SUVs on sale in the form of the e-Niro and Kona Electric. Both cost around £35,000 (after the UK Government’s plug-in car grant is applied) and both promise around 270 miles worth of range after a full charge – in the case of Hyundai’s Kona this is when specced the larger 64kWh battery pack.

There is also the DS 3 Crossback E-Tense, which packs around 200 miles worth of range and is marginally more affordable than the two South Korean options mentioned above thanks to a starting price of around £30,000 after the plug-in car grant is applied.

The Volvo XC40 and DS 3 Crossback are cut from the same cloth in regards to the fact they both offer a somewhat left-field up-market SUV. Away from all-electric rivals there a handful of appealing plug-in hybrid models, such as the Mini Countryman PHEV which claims up to 25 miles of all-electric range with the accompanying petrol engine there to ensure longer journeys are possible.

Volvo XC40 Recharge economy and performance

Volvo has stated that the new XC40 Recharge will come with a total power output of 408hp - this is a huge amount for what is a relatively small car, though the large batteries mean it is a heavy car.

Recharge models get all-wheel drive so that this power isn't spun away when accelerating and the 0-62mph time is supposed to take just 4.9 seconds. This is fast enough to keep up with a number of Porsche sports car models. Electric consumption (economy) figures are yet to be announced, also.

Volvo XC40 Recharge interior

If you are familiar with the regular XC40’s interior design, then you will be familiar with the all-electric XC40’s interior design. What is worth highlighting is that the carpets used throughout the cabin are made entirely from recycled plastic.

Central to the car’s dashboard is a portrait touchscreen display (about which there is more information in the technology section below). Similarly, traditional dials in front of the driver have been replaced with a digital display that can show key information such as navigation and vehicle speed.

Volvo XC40 Recharge exterior

Outside there are a number of subtle, yet obvious differences between battery-powered and fossil-fuel-powered XC40s. For starters, the front grille is now a solid item as there is no large radiator required to provide an engine with cooling. Plus, there is Recharge badging dotted about the body.

As for colours, buyers have the option of eight, including a new metallic Sage Green hue – a contrasting black roof comes as standard. Complementing the available colours are a choice of 19- or 20-inch alloy wheels.

Volvo XC40 Recharge technology

Headlining new technology on the XC40 Recharge is an Android-powered information and media system which has been engineered in collaboration with Google. This means the system comes with a number of apps (such as Google Maps) and Google Assistant built-in.

Benefits of the latter extend beyond the remit of getting people from A to B, allowing motorists to contact smart devices used throughout their house while on the move. Presumably, this will allow drivers to carry out tasks such as turning the heating or lights on while driving home. Exact capabilities will be confirmed nearer UK launch date.

The all-electric XC40 is Volvo’s first car to be able to accept software and operating system updates over the air. While previous Volvos have been able to update on-board apps, the XC40 goes one step further by ensuring the more software (such as that used for the safety systems) is kept up to date.

Furthermore, Volvo’s On Call app is still available to buyers – meaning tasks such as preheating the cabin or remotely locking/unlocking are possible from a smartphone. Similarly, owners can temporarily grant others use of their vehicle by sharing a digital key, again via smartphone.

Other tech includes Pilot Assist, which autonomously maintains a safe distance from the car in front while keeping you in the middle of your lane. It is worth noting that this does not mean the XC40 Recharge can drive around autonomously, as legally drivers must remain in control of their vehicle at all times – for now at least.

There is also a raft of safety tech which comes under Volvo’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems umbrella. This includes the likes of autonomous emergency braking, traffic sign recognition and adaptive cruise control. Blindspot monitoring and steering assist are also on hand to help prevent accidents. The latter is a feature that works to prevent drivers switching into another lane when a car is in a drivers’ blindspot.

Finally, in an attempt to combat theft of cars which come with keyless entry (something the XC40 Recharge comes with) Volvo now uses keyfobs which only work when motion is detected, i.e. when you are walking to get in your car and not when your key is sat on the side while you sleep.

Volvo XC40 Recharge dimensions and towing capability

This is big news; the all-electric XC40 Recharge is quoted with a towing capacity of 1,500kg, which puts it in the top five all-electric tow cars on account that most battery-powered vehicles don't come with a quoted towing capacity.

Boot space is 413 litres with the rear seats up but this is bolstered by another 30-litre space under the bonnet – the lack of engine proves useful here, though this is still barely bigger than in a smaller VW Golf. Dimensions are expected to be identical to the standard XC40 – meaning Recharge models will be 4,425mm long, 1,658mm high and 1,910mm wide.

Volvo XC40 Recharge review

As the XC40 Recharge has only recently been announced, we have to wait until we can get behind the wheel. Regardless, key testing points will be real-world range and how usable the new information and media unit co-developed with Google is.

There will also be the question of how well Volvo’s engineers have integrated the heavy electronics into the car – this is often the downfall of many electric cars. The final factor to consider will be price when compared not only to its electric rivals, but petrol and diesel alternatives, too.
 

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