2022 Volvo C40 Recharge electric crossover coupe aims to upend car sales

Chris Davies - Mar 2, 2021, 8:06am CST
2022 Volvo C40 Recharge electric crossover coupe aims to upend car sales

Volvo has revealed the second all-electric model in its Recharge line-up, with the 2022 Volvo C40 bringing a sleek, crossover-coupe style option to the BEV segment. A return to Volvo’s C-series – after the demise of the three-door C30 in 2013 – it’ll be sold online-only, as the automaker shifts to fully-electric sales by 2030.

It joins the Volvo XC40 Recharge, the automaker’s all-electric compact crossover. Where that model was a BEV version of a model offered with internal-combustion drivetrains, however, the C40 Recharge will only be offered in battery-electric form.

Compared to the XC40 Recharge, it has a lower profile and a sleeker roofline that tapers at the rear with distinctive segmented taillamps. At the front, there are Pixel Technology headlamps – we’ve seen the system on the Polestar 2, though currently US regulations don’t allow it to be offered in America. There’ll be all-wheel drive using twin motors; one at the front, one at the rear.

That will offer 408 horsepower and up to 660 Nm of torque. Volvo expects the BEV to do 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds, with a top speed of 112 mph. It’ll be rated to tow 4,000 pounds.

As for the battery, there Volvo will be using a 78 kWh pack that supports 150 DC fast charging: figure on 80-percent of a charge in around 40 minutes. Final range figures are still to come but Volvo anticipates 420 km (260 miles), though that’s based on the WLTP test cycle not the – usually tougher – US EPA version. On that, Volvo is predicting 210 miles, which is fairly underwhelming compared to rivals. Still, according to Volvo Chief Technology Officer Henrik Green, the range that the C40 Recharge leaves the factory with won’t be the range it always offers.

That’s because Volvo expects to push out improvements – both the how far the battery will take you, and for other car features – using the OTA (over-the-air) system. The C40 Recharge will run Android Automotive OS, and have unlimited data for accessing things like Google Maps, the Google Assistant, and apps from the Google Play store. It’ll be part of a familiar cabin design that’s also 100-percent leather free

It comes hot on the heels of Volvo’s big electrification announcement earlier today, a dual-pronged attempt at sustainability. By 2025, Volvo expects half of its sales to be of pure-electric models. Come 2030, all of the new cars Volvo offers will be pure-electric BEVs, and by 2040 the automaker will be fully carbon-neutral.

“Fundamentally, I think customers want to choose a brand that’s doing the right thing,” Linn Fortgens, Head of sustainability, procurement, at Volvo Cars suggests.

All pure-electric cars from Volvo will only be available online, meanwhile. They’ll only be offered at a set price – no more dealer haggling – with a range of purchase options including traditional financing and Care by Volvo subscriptions which include the BEV, insurance, servicing, and other incidentals for a single fee each month. All Recharge cars will be leather-free, too.

Each car will come with specially-developed Recharge tires, which Volvo says will be suitable for all-year safety and convenience. They’ll be offered in pre-selected configurations, so that delivery can be faster, though with customization options for those with specific demands and a little more patience. It’s a similar approach to that we’ve seen from Polestar, the performance-electric brand from Volvo and Geely, though considerably more complex given the Volvo line-up is much broader than that of Polestar.

There’ll still be locations where you can go to see the car before you buy – they’ll be called Volvo Stores, rather than dealerships – while Care by Volvo will be expanding with a new care package for Recharge drivers. That will add, “where possible” Volvo says, home charging provisions for the BEVs.

Volvo hasn’t given an on-sale date for the C40 Recharge yet, nor pricing, though the car will go into production in fall 2021. The XC40 currently starts from $53,990 before US federal tax incentives.


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