New Zealand’s newest fully electric passenger vehicle is set to add a unique sense of Scandinavian style to local roads when the Volvo XC40 Recharge arrives soon.
The new emissions-free version of award-winning compact crossover SUV is the esteemed Swedish brand’s first battery electric vehicle (BEV) and has undergone extensive redesign and reengineering work in order account for the absence of a traditional internal combustion engine.
As to be expected, the Volvo XC40 Recharge doesn’t just herald a next-generation power system. Cutting edge Volvo-developed safety systems will also be introduced with the new vehicle.
Volvo’s highly anticipated fully electric version of its multi-award winning XC40 compact crossover SUV is soon to arrive on Kiwi shores.
In true Volvo tradition, the XC40 battery electric vehicle (BEV) is also one of the safest cars on the road, despite a fresh set of engineering challenges presented by the absence of an internal combustion engine.
While building on the excellent safety standards of the original XC40, Volvo’s engineers had to completely redesign and reinforce the frontal structure to deal with the absence of an engine, meet Volvo’s high safety requirements and help keep occupants as safe as in any other Volvo.
Ben Montgomery, Volvo New Zealand General Manager, says the inclusion of new technology in the fully electric XC40 will ensure it is one of the Swedish manufacturer’s safest vehicles to date.
“Next-generation safety systems will be introduced for the first time in this new model as well as an innovative structure to protect the vehicle’s battery and those travelling in the vehicle in the event of a collision,” he says.
To help keep passengers safe and the battery intact in the event of a collision, Volvo developed a unique new safety structure for passengers and battery alike. The battery in the XC40 is protected by a safety cage which consists of a frame of extruded aluminium and has been embedded in the middle of the car’s body structure, creating a built-in crumple zone around the battery.
The battery’s placement in the floor of the car also has the benefit of lowering the centre of gravity of the car, for better protection against roll-overs.
Unique to the XC40 Recharge, a special front-load compartment located under the front hood provides around 30-litres of extra load space. A unique, covered front grille in the body colour creates a distinct visual identity at the front of the car, made possible by the fact that an electric car needs less air flow for cooling purposes. The grille also packages the sensors for the new Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) sensor platform.
The new ADAS platform is a modern, scalable active safety system that consists of an array of radars, cameras and ultrasonic sensors. Because of its scalable nature, it can easily be developed further and lays the foundation for the future introduction of autonomous drive technology.
Inside the XC40 Recharge, a new driver interface specifically designed for electric cars keeps the driver up to date on relevant information such as battery status, while the interior design package features sporty styling details as well as carpets made of recycled materials.
“The XC40 Recharge retains all the features that have made it one of Volvo’s best-selling models,” concludes Ben.
“It embraces the elegant, Scandinavian design language that has defined Volvo’s rebirth and combines good looks with utility and functionality.”