Fully electric Volvo XC40 Recharge production underway

The first of several planned electric vehicle models from Swedish manufacturer Volvo has begun production in Europe.

The XC40 Recharge will contribute to Volvo Cars’ ambitious plan to reduce its CO₂ footprint per car by 40% by 2025. It also anticipates that by that same year, 50% of its global sales will stem from electric cars.

The first XC40 Recharge vehicles are scheduled to be delivered to customers in Europe before the end of October 2020, while New Zealand pricing and specification details are yet to be confirmed.

The beginning of Volvo’s self-generated realignment into electric car production has occurred in Europe with the first XC40 Recharge vehicles having emerged from the production line.

Volvo says the XC40 Recharge is the first of several full electric Volvo models to come, and the start of production represents a significant step towards Volvo Cars’ ambition to reduce its carbon footprint per car by 40% by 2025. That same year, it expects 50% of its global sales to consist of fully electric cars, with the rest hybrids.

Coby Duggan, Volvo New Zealand General Manager says the brand’s first pure EV will be a welcome addition to the range.

“Despite the impact of the COVID pandemic on vehicle sales, the New Zealand EV fleet size has seen significant growth and pure light EVs have become increasingly popular, particularly among private buyers.

“With the XC40 already our most popular model, we are anticipating strong demand for the fully electric XC40 Recharge when the first examples land here late next year,” he says.

Customer demand for the XC40 Recharge has been strong and while order books remain open, every car scheduled to be built this calendar year has already been sold.

The start of customer car production follows a period of preparation in which Volvo’s Ghent plant in Belgium has built a limited number of pre-production cars. This process, standard procedure for every new model, aims to optimise the production flow and ensure top-notch quality of every car built. All relevant production staff have also received extensive training on safely building electric cars.

As a fully electric version of the best-selling XC40 SUV, the first Volvo to win the prestigious European Car of the Year award, the XC40 Recharge is based on the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), an advanced vehicle platform co-developed within the Geely Group.

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

While building on the excellent safety standards of the original XC40, Volvo Cars safety engineers have completely redesigned and reinforced the frontal structure to address the absence of an engine, meet Volvo’s high safety requirements and help keep people as safe as in any other Volvo.

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

New Zealand pricing and specification for the XC40 Recharge will be confirmed closer to its local launch date.

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