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October 01, 2020

Electric dreams come true: production starts for Volvo XC40 Recharge

In 2017 our CEO shocked the auto world by announcing that Volvo Cars would be the first established car maker to go all-in on electric. That historic moment set us on a path of transformation from a traditional carmaker to a dynamic organisation more akin to a tech company – we have a strong base in manufacturing, plus world-class tech expertise in exciting areas like electrification, software development, autonomous drive and direct consumer business. Now our fruit is ripening as the first fully electric Volvo car rolls off the production line.

We did it! Our first fully electric Volvo car – the XC40 Recharge – is rolling off the production lines. Production of the XC40 Recharge began at our Ghent plant in Belgium. Only weeks later we started production of the XC40 Recharge in Luqiao, China, several months earlier than in the original plan.


This milestone is not just about changing nuts and bolts to plugs and kilowatts. It’s much bigger than that. It requires a complete transformation of our company. So let’s take a step back and see what going all-in on electric means for a company operating in an industry that contributes significantly to the world’s CO2 emissions.


Sure, selling electric cars makes good business sense: consumer-demand trends continue to increase; governments around the world seek to reduce carbon emissions and so increase pressure on car makers to produce vehicles that are kinder to our planet; but they aren’t the only reasons to make this change.


We want to elevate sustainability within our organisation to be just as much a part of our DNA as is safety. Since our company began, we’ve put safety at the core of everything we do. This unwavering commitment to keeping people safe has made us an industry leader in safety. In the same spirit, we want to be an industry leader in sustainability.


Electrifying our product range is a big part of that. You see, the XC40 Recharge is the first of several fully electric Volvos to come. Each car will bring us closer to our ambition to reduce our CO2 footprint per car by 40 per cent by 2025 – and by then we want 50 per cent of our global sales to consist of fully electric cars, with the rest hybrids.


We’re serious about showing the world how a car maker can be part of the solution, not just a part of the problem. And we’re making significant changes throughout our company to achieve our ambitions.


XC40 Recharge? Yes indeed!

If you see a Volvo car labelled Recharge, it has a plug. Our plug-in hybrids are branded with the R word, as are our fully electric models, starting with the new XC40 Recharge.


Björn Annwall, our head of EMEA and global commercial operations, said: “Our Recharge cars are everything customers expect from a Volvo, with the addition of a state-of-the-art fully electric or plug-in hybrid powertrain.”


The XC40 Recharge is based on our Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), an advanced vehicle platform co-developed within the Geely Group. Our XC40 SUV was the first Volvo to win the prestigious European Car of the Year award and has been a sensation in many ways since it launched. So it’s fitting that we picked our popular little SUV to be our first fully electric Volvo.


The all-wheel drive XC40 Recharge offers a projected range of over 400km WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure) on a single charge and output of 408hp. The battery can charge to 80 per cent of its capacity in approximately 40 minutes on a fast-charger system.


The new Android-powered infotainment system offers customers unprecedented personalisation, improved levels of intuitiveness and embedded Google technology and services, such as the Google Assistant, Google Maps and the Google Play Store. The XC40 Recharge also receives larger software and operating system updates over the air.


As always, we’re forever seeking to exceed our high safety requirements and help keep people as safe. So our safety engineers have completely redesigned and reinforced the frontal structure to address the absence of an engine.


The battery pack is protected by a safety cage embedded in the middle of the car’s body structure. Its placement in the floor also lowers the car’s centre of gravity, for better protection against roll-overs.


And there’s plenty of handy storage, for example in the doors, in the trunk and in the frunk – the bonus storage under the front hood, because there’s no internal combustion engine. 


Did you know?

According to recent data by market researcher IHS, Volvo Cars was the leading electrified premium brand in Europe during the first half of 2020. Our Recharge cars made up almost a quarter of total deliveries in the region.


The future is electric


Learn more about our sustainability programme