The Volvo XC40 Recharge is barely out of the gate and the Swedish automaker is already unveiling its next electric vehicle. The C40 Recharge is only Volvo’s second pure battery-electric car. A slightly shorter and more streamlined version of the XC40 Recharge, the C40 Recharge will be built on the same modular platform as the automaker’s first EV and will go into production at Volvo’s Ghent, Belgium, factory in fall 2021.
Volvo says that the C40 Recharge “has all the benefits of an SUV but with a lower and sleeker design.” The roof line is lower and the rear portion tapers off more gradually than the XC40 Recharge. The most significant difference is the height, with the C40 Recharge measuring a full three inches shorter than its predecessor. Volvo won’t go so far as to call it a hatchback or wagon, but it does appear to share some characteristics with Volvo’s discontinued V40.
The release of the C40 Recharge gets Volvo one step closer to its goal of electrifying half of its lineup by 2025. Earlier today, Volvo said it would go 100 percent electric by 2030. The automaker has also said it will slash the life-cycle carbon footprint — effectively the CO2 emissions the car will produce during its life with both manufacturing and usage taken into account — on each car by 40 percent by the same year.
The C40 Recharge is estimated to get the same range — 210 miles based on the EPA’s standard or 420km based on Europe’s WLTP — as the XC40 Recharge. Volvo says that range will improve with over-the-air software updates in the future. Will the price be the same as the XC40 Recharge, too? We don’t know yet because Volvo is not releasing that information at this time.
Volvo also didn’t provide any images of the interior, but we can probably assume it won’t be too different from the XC40 Recharge. The company says the C40 Recharge’s infotainment software will be powered by Android Automotive, meaning it will use popular apps like Google Maps and Google Assistant as its default features. This is also similar to the XC40 Recharge and Polestar 2 from Volvo and parent company Geely’s joint performance brand.
The C40 Recharge will run on two electric motors, one in the front and one in the rear of the vehicle. A 78kWh battery pack — 75kWh of which is usable — powers the dual-motor powertrain with a total of 402 horsepower and a 0-to-60 mph time of 4.7 seconds. The headlights are brand new as well, featuring “state-of-the-art” pixel technology.
The battery charges from zero to 80 percent of its capacity in 40 minutes on a 150kWh/DC fast-charger system, the automaker claims. On an AC charger with 11kWh, the C40 Recharge’s battery will take eight hours to get to 80 percent.
Car dealers have been known to be reluctant to stock and sell electric cars for years, and Volvo aims to sidestep this issue by offering the new C40 Recharge for sale online only. The automaker has also said it aims to sell 50 percent of its global volume online by 2025.
Hopefully, the C40 Recharge will be able to avoid some of the software problems of its predecessors. Yesterday, The Verge reported that an unknown number of XC40 Recharge SUV deliveries were delayed by a crucial software update that was keeping them held up at US ports.
Among its bold environmental pledges, Volvo has also said it will reduce the carbon output of its entire operations by 25 percent, including its suppliers, also by 2025. If everything goes according to plan, the amount of recycling and reuse of materials in Volvo’s supply chain will dramatically increase. By 2025, Volvo expects every vehicle to contain 25 percent recycled material.
Since Volvo made its pledge to electrify half of its lineup, other automakers have upped the ante. GM said it would only sell electric vehicles by 2040, while Ford recently announced it would be EV-only in Europe by 2030. The Volkswagen Group, which owns Audi, Skoda, Porsche, and others, says its entire lineup will be electric or hybrid by 2026.