The new Volvo charged with the entire future of the company
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Volvo has revealed its first-ever model to be launched exclusively as a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV): the C40 Recharge.
The car itself is not as momentus as it might seem. The C40, which will be available in New Zealand in the second half of 2022, is essentially a coupe version of the XC40 compact-SUV.
The XC40 was initially launched as a conventional internal combustion engine model, but Volvo NZ has just launched a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) version and a full BEV will follow - the latter a very close relative of the new C40.
What's most significant about the the C40 is what it represents. At the same time as it revealed the new model, Volvo announced that it would be a BEV-only brand by 2030. It will sell only fully electric cars and phase out any model with an internal combustion engine, including hybrids.
"To remain successful, we need profitable growth. So instead of investing in a shrinking business, we choose to invest in the future – electric and online,” says Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo Cars chief executive.
The C40 has twin electric motors, one on the front and one on the rear axle, powered by a 78kWh battery that can be fast-charged to 80 per cent in about 40 minutes. It offers range of around 420 km, which is expected to improve over time with over-the-air software updates.
The C40 features an infotainment system jointly developed with Google and based on the Android operating system. It provides consumers with Google apps and services built-in, such as Google Maps, Google Assistant and the Google Play Store.
Meanwhile, the $84,900 XC40 Recharge PHEV just launched in NZ combines a 60kW/160Nm electric motor and 10.7kWh battery with a 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder 132kW/265Nm engine.
Fuel economy is 2.2l/100km, compared with the petrol XC40's 7.7-8.0l/100km.
However, fuel consumption drops to zero when the electric motor is used alone. It gives a 44km range.