Last December, we got to spend some time hands-on driving the 2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge electric vehicle. Volvo has now confirmed that the 2022 XC40 Recharge will see changes that gain driving range compared to the 2021 model. Specifically, Volvo says its EPA Combined driving range for the 2022 model is 7.2 percent better than before.
While that might not sound like much, that’s an additional 15 miles of driving per charge bringing the range to 223 miles. For some people, an additional 15 miles of driving range could mean an entire extra day of commuting before needing to charge. Unfortunately, Volvo isn’t particularly clear on what change was made to improve the driving range.
Speculation suggests that the extra range could be thanks to Volvo choosing smaller 19-inch wheels as standard for 2022 compared to the 20-inch wheels on the 2021 model. But we do know that the EPA test hasn’t changed; it’s the same that was used in 2021. Buyers can now reserve the 2022 model, but no one will be happy to hear that the base price has increased.
For 2021, the XC40 Recharge started at a base price of $53,990. For 2022, the XC40 Recharge base price is $55,300. Buyers of electric vehicles are typically aware that the EV gets the most range when driven in the city in stop-and-go traffic. In a traditional combustion-powered car, the highway economy is typically higher; an electric vehicle gets less range on the highway.
Just because the EPA rates an electric vehicle for a specific driving range doesn’t mean the end-user who purchases it will see those same figures. Certainly, at times, the real-world economy is higher than what the EPA estimates, but in other environments, it can be lower. Many things contribute to the driving range of an electric vehicle, most notably the driving style of the owner, but temperature and other factors also contribute.