Volvo has big plans: by 2025, every second new car sold by the Swedish brand should have a purely electric drive. To this day, the Swedes do not have a single such car on the road. It will be December before the first XC 40 Recharge reach Germany. Production in Ghent, Belgium has just started.
First test drives with a pre-series model did not bring any surprises. Almost everything is as you know it from the 4.43 meter long SUV that has been available for two years. The seats are comfortable, the space is sufficient and exactly the same as in the conventional models, which also applies to the trunk. Strictly speaking, there is even more storage volume. Because an electric motor takes up less space, there is a compartment at the front in which the charging cables and small items can be stowed.
But the Recharge has not just one, but two motors. An electric machine also acts on the rear axle, both have 204 hp each, so that a total of 408 horsepower and a very decent maximum torque of 660 Newton meters are available. The electronics regulate how much power is applied to each individual axis.
Not only is the Google-based information and entertainment system new to the electric XC 40, the driver doesn’t have to press a start button either. Just have the key with you, sit down and you’re good to go. Both are known from the technically closely related Polestar 2 (see FAZ of July 21). Like every electric car, the XC 40 drives completely calmly, and it can even do so up to the generally applicable Volvo limit of 180 km / h. But if you drive so quickly, the 78 kWh battery in the vehicle floor will be drained quickly.
On a 120-kilometer lap around Würzburg, according to the on-board display, we needed an average of 23.2 kWh of electricity per 100 kilometers, the battery then still had a fill level of 60 percent. An achievable range of around 300 kilometers can therefore be assumed. A colleague who drove the same route in recuperation mode needed 21.2 kWh. The car brakes immediately when you take your foot off the accelerator. The function can be switched off, then the car simply continues to roll, as if idling. Many find this more pleasant, the actual brake is of course used much more often, but it is also recuperated.
Volvo is still thinking about how other manufacturers can offer several recuperation modes. It has already been decided that the XC 40 Recharge will soon be available with just one engine, which will lower the proud price of around 60,000 euros. Those who order now have to wait until April 2021.