The first all-electric car from Swedish automotive giant Volvo, the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric, is now available for UK customers to order, the first of five electric cars Volvo intends to launch over the next five years.
Capable of travelling more than 400 kilometres on a single charge, and able to be charged to 80% in as little as 40 minutes using a fast charger, the all-electric XC40 also comes with the company’s brand new infotainment system powered by Google Android.
Retailing from £53,155 ($A98,500), the new car is not an affordable entry into the all-electric vehicle space, but is Volvo’s first entrant into the compact premium SUV segment of the market.
It is also part of Volvo Cars’ larger electrification strategy – which the company describes as “one of the boldest from any traditional car maker” – which is expected to see the company become climate neutral by 2040 and cut tailpipe emissions by 50% per car.
The automaker has already ensured every model in the Volvo range can be purchased as a plug-in hybrid, and is also aiming to make half of all new vehicles it sells all-electric by 2025.
“For Volvo Cars, the future is electric,” said Kristian Elvefors, Volvo Car UK’s Managing Director. “The battery-powered XC40 spearheads our ambitious sustainability strategy, while bringing the huge benefits of electric driving – and more – to an already award-winning package.”
First glimpsed in October 2019 and launched later that month, Volvo’s XC40 comes with twin electric motors producing 408hp to deliver a 0-100kph time of only 4.9 seconds. Volvo is also highlighting the extra storage which its electric model provides, with a 30-litre storage compartment under the front bonnet replacing where an internal combustion engine would be.
The Recharge Pure Electric also comes with all of the attention to detail and interior design Volvo’s XC40 range is known for – with everything from a removable waste bin and boot divider options.
These are joined by the debut of Volvo Cars’ brand new Google Android-powered infotainment system, integrating the Android Automotive OS so as to build in Google Maps, Google Assistant, and other automotive apps.
The XC40’s software can be updated over the air, meaning that it will continue to evolve and improve over time.
Volvo Cars is also trumpeting the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric as “one of the safest cars on the market … in spite of the challenges presented by the lack of an internal combustion engine.”
With a completely redeveloped frontal crash structure including a “new and unique” safety structure for the passengers and battery, the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric is also the first Volvo vehicle to feature a new version of Pilot Assist – the driver-assistance technology that deploys steering, acceleration, and braking support, and which now integrates Google Maps for information such as speed limits and curves in the road.
A new Emergency Stop Assist function is also now included, which will warn if the driver is not holding the steering wheel in different stages until the car is brought to a safe stop.
UK deliveries of the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric are expected to start in early 2021. No information is available on when the vehicle will be available in Australia, but hopes aren’t high, considering that the XC40 Recharge plug-in hybrid was delayed last month and is now not expected to be available here until 2021.