Volvo presents the new C40 Recharge

Shortly after announcing its intention to become an all-electric brand by 2030, Volvo has unveiled the C40 Recharge, the second purely electric car in its current portfolio and the first to be offered exclusively with electric drive.

Besides, the C40 will only be available for purchase online – more on that later. Unlike earlier Volvo “C” models, the C40 is not a compact car in Golf format, but the SUV offshoot of the XC40 Recharge.

Still, the C40 is marketed as an independent model. Both models are hardly distinguishable (only the closed grille has been slightly adapted and the headlights now use LED pixel technology). In the side view and from the rear, the new roofline and flatter rear are visible. The taillights have also been designed slightly differently. The trunk of the 4.42-meter-long electric XC40 can hold 414 litres (1,290 litres with the rear seatbacks unfolded). Volvo is not yet naming a figure for the C40.

The new model uses the familiar electric drive from the electric XC40: one 150 kW electric motor each on the front and rear axles bring the C40 to a system output of 300 kW. The electricity is stored in a 78 kWh battery (gross). While the XC40, which weighs around 2.2 tons, has a range of 418 kilometres according to WLTP, Volvo states a range of 420 kilometres for the 4.43-meter-long C40. However, the range could still be increased “over time” via a software update.

“The Volvo C40 Recharge represents the future of Volvo and shows where we are going,” says Henrik Green, chief technology officer (CTO) at Volvo Cars. “It is fully electric and will be offered exclusively online at attractive all-inclusive conditions and with short delivery times.”

The C40 is to be built together with the XC40 (in all engine versions) on one line at Volvo’s Ghent plant in Belgium. The Swedes have also set up a battery assembly line there to combine the purchased modules into ready-to-install packs.

At least for the twin C40/XC40, Volvo does not have to build different battery packs: Both vehicles share the CMA platform, which Volvo developed jointly with its parent company Geely. Of the models available in this country, the Polestar 2 is also based on the multi-energy platform.

With a focus on Europe, Volvo is planning yet another model positioned below the XC40/C40. However, according to Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson, this model will not use CMA technology but will be based on Geely’s SEA platform. XC20 is mentioned as a possible model designation.

Volvo is not yet quoting prices for the C40. Since the Swedish company will only sell their electric cars online in the future, the C40 will presumably initially only be available on a subscription basis – either with a flexible term or one fixed at 36 months. The online purchase process is still under development, but will be introduced shortly.


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