Volvo XC40 Recharge Electric SUV: Exclusive First Review, Specs, Images

It's the only electric luxury SUV in India.

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Volvo XC40 Recharge EV
Images: Fossbytes/Somnath Chatterjee

Are electric cars the future? That might be debatable for some, but the car-makers are going full steam ahead with their EV plans. While, at the moment, a country like India is not yet ready for electric vehicles in regard to the infrastructure, electricity supply, and other issues, the number of electric cars available is also very less.

You have Tata Nexon EV, Hyundai Kona, and MG ZS — the next offering is the Rs 1 crore EQC from Mercedes. Yes, that is a large gap and Volvo wants a big piece from that un-occupied space. With no compact luxury SUV that is electric on the horizon, the XC40 Recharge would have no competition as of this year or even in the foreseeable future. But what is the XC40 Recharge all about? Let’s take an exclusive look at the car before its October launch.

How does Volvo XC40 Recharge look?

It is an XC40 all right but a closer look will reveal that it is no standard petrol XC40. The front grille is changed and there is no grille since there is no engine, so you get a painted body cover.

front view and grille Volvo XC40 Recharge

Apart from that, the famous Thor’s Hammer Volvo style lights and compact plus boxy appearance make the XC40 look more like an SUV when compared to rivals. We also see different wheels and we can expect more color options.

rearview of Volvo XC40 Recharge

The rear styling is the same which means you can see the large typical Volvo style tail-lamps that stand out. You can spot a small badge that signifies it as the EV version. Else, it is the standard XC40.

Volvo XC40 Recharge ev branding

What about the interiors?

Open the solid feeling doors and it is the regular XC40. You have the same large portrait touch screen and an all-black cabin. There is stitching and the quality is very plush. Equipment levels would also be expected to be similar in order to keep the costs down but the XC40 Recharge is expected to get a few extra features.

Volvo XC40 Recharge interiors front

The instrument cluster is different for the EV version, while it is the first Volvo to get a brand-new infotainment system powered by the Google Android operating system. The infotainment system also has the Volvo ‘On Call’ connected tech feature, using which you can check the range or your driving habits plus more features.

Tell me about the XC40 Recharge power and range…

Yes, these are the main factors that you should keep in mind when buying an EV. The XC40 Recharge, with two electric motors, gets a 78kWh lithium-ion battery which is located in the floor. This is an electric all-wheel-drive power-train that has a total power output of 408hp and 660Nm. The power figures are impressive too as it is capable of reaching 100kmph in just 4.9 seconds. That is proper fast! There are also drive modes and the top-speed is limited to 180 km/h only. 

Volvo XC40 Recharge charging port

Moving on to Volvo XC40 Recharge range: More than a conventional car, the range of an EV is more important as charging stations are far too few. In the XC40 Recharge, the range figure is 418km which is one of the best in India. This figure is not an ARAI figure but on the basis of the WLTP and EPA driving cycle. However, one should expect a rear-world range comfortably near 350km or at least above 300km. This means it will take care of your daily commute for a few days without the need for any charging!

charger of Volvo XC40 Recharge

The impressive range would be the main confidence booster in buying an EV. With XC40 Recharge, you can visit Jaipur once and charge it while coming back. While it might seem tight for many to attempt that, as a city-based commuter, the XC40 Recharge could be the ideal luxury SUV. It will also get regenerative modes to adjust the regenerative braking and different modes.

What is the charging time?

The XC40 Recharge supports fast charging and the battery charges up to 80 percent of its capacity in 40 minutes. The XC40 Recharge will also get charging equipment bundled with it.

Volvo XC40 Recharge charger storage

Volvo has not yet disclosed details regarding the charging infrastructure but we expect their dealers to have charging facility and they can tie-up regarding installing chargers at popular places. There are currently 25 dealerships in cities including in Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi NCR – South Delhi, West Delhi, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Indore, Raipur, Jaipur, Kochi, Kozhikode, Kolkata, Lucknow, Ludhiana, West Mumbai, South Mumbai, Pune, Raipur, Surat, Vishakhapatnam and Vijayawada.

What would be the price of XC40 Recharge?

That is another crucial factor in determining how well the XC40 Recharge can do in India. The standard petrol XC40 starts at Rs 40 lakh while the electric version should be Rs 10 lakhs more. With a cost of Rs 50 lakh or slightly more, the XC40 Recharge should find takers since it is the only full electric SUV at this price point.

The XC40 Recharge has a good enough range and is as spacious as the standard XC40 which means the leap to electric will not compromise practicality. Volvo wants to double its volume in India in the next 2 years while it wants the majority of its sales to be electric by 2025. With the XC40 Recharge, we think it has a good chance.

Somnath Chatterjee

Somnath Chatterjee

For me automobiles are more than just an obsession, and driving new cars plus writing about them is what keeps me going. I also look beyond the plain numbers to see what a car is truly capable of and what changes it brings on the technology front.

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