The Volvo XC40 Recharge is ready to hit roads all over the world. Production of the first 100% electric SUV of the Swedish company has begun in the Belgian plant in Ghent. The first deliveries in Europe are expected at the end of October, for a model that has already sold out for 2020. Who will order this version of the XC40 now will have to wait until 2021 to be able to drive it.
“Today is an important occasion for Volvo Cars and for all employees of the Ghent plant – said Javier Varela, global head of industrial activities and quality – With reference to our strategy of electrification of the product range, the Ghent plant plays the pioneering role in our global manufacturing network ”.
Paves the way for Volvo’s green future
Volvo’s choice to introduce this variant in the most compact SUV model in the range is singular. Manufacturers usually try to insert the expensive electric technology inside more voluminous and expensive cars, in order to have more margin and return faster on the investment made to implement that technology. Volvo takes the opposite path, with the most widespread and most compact car among its ranks, demonstrating how much this pursuit of sustainable energy is not just a manifesto or a facade, but an inherent value in the heart of the company. The objectives presented by the Swedish company are truly ambitious but equally clear: to become carbon neutral by 2040 and reduce the carbon footprint by 40% by 2025, obviously working on car emissions, promoting only Plug-In and electric hybrids, but above all by choosing suppliers who will embrace this idea of sustainable energy, setting the way for a production system entirely zero impact.
Power of 408 HP, range of over 400 km
The new Volvo SUV is obviously based on the already popular Volvo XC40 , incorporating the body and the CMA modular platform, developed by the Geely Group for compact cars. It houses a 78 kWh battery pack , positioned below the floor, to lower the car’s center of gravity and not take up space inside the passenger compartment. The cells are surrounded by an aluminum cage to protect against side impacts, often fatal and dangerous for electric cars.
Two electric motors , one for each axis, 300 kW each , for a total power of 408 hp and 660 Nm and a ‘ autonomy maximum of just over 400 kilometers (Wltp) . Regarding performance, we know that it will be able to take off a 0-100 km / h in just 4.9 seconds for a top speed of 180 km / h. It will obviously have permanent all-wheel drive and will receive an ad hoc adjustment for suspension and chassis, with the necessary reinforcements due to the greater weight of the car and not to compromise safety from frontal impacts, given the absence of the thermal engine. The weight has now grown to around 2150 kg, 550 kg more than the lighter petrol XC40, but component distribution was a major issue in the design phase, managing to set a perfect 50:50 front-rear balance .
The absence of components linked to the thermal engine has allowed the engineers to recreate useful compartments in the passenger compartment, for example under the passenger seats or in front, under the hood, where approximately 31 liters of capacity are found. The rear trunk also grows slightly. Aesthetically, the front is mainly varied, with a new fully shielded grille without holes, which gives a more modern and sinuous, harmonious design. The interior is not very varied, leaving Volvo’s clean and minimalist style unchanged. Absolute novelty, however, concerns the infotainment system , based on the Android operating system and equipped with some Google services, including the search engine, Google Maps, Google Play Store and even Google Assistant. The great technology of the system allows you to receive updates in real time via OTA (Over The Air) mode. It is also possible to always and intensively control all the car parameters even remotely thanks to the Volvo On Call smartphone application , with which it is possible to check the state of charge, the remaining range, the geolocation of the car and much more. being able to preheat the passenger compartment of the car remotely.