The Swedes are known for their modest approach to life. Their strong adherence to minimalism is emblematic of how Nordic culture loves to express that the power of a symbol is rather in its impact than its countenance. One could tie this to the emergence of electric vehicles, since they too show that you can make a better society with zero emissions and minimal effect to the environment. Thus, it’s great to say that the Volvo XC40 Recharge is a perfect combination of all the above.
As the company’s first major foray into electromobility, the Recharge fulfills one’s expectations from the brand: compact, simple, but subtly powerful and safe. This is clear when one first encounters the midsize sport utility vehicle, as its exterior is very modern yet can easily blend into any setting, whether it’s utilized for a fancy outing or a routine trip to the grocery store.
However, this changes once you’re inside the cabin, which screams luxury and extreme comfort without the ostentatiousness. One is instantly greeted with a spacious cabin, as the vehicle’s battery pack is mounted to the bottom of the chassis, thus giving one an interior area that rivals larger competitors.
One can also can enter the vehicle and shift from Park to Drive without the use of a key (or even a Start button), and certainly without the whirr of an engine and the expected mechanical delay. Any driver of a traditional gasoline-powered vehicle would appreciate this quick yet quiet and simple nature that has spoiled many who already enjoy and expect this from a Tesla.
However, as soon as one touches the accelerator, the mildness of the XC40 Recharge is transformed into a formidable stallion with a brisk start due to the instantaneous torque one feels from its stout all-electric powertrain that produces 402 horsepower. This allows the vehicle to go from 0 to 60 miles per hour (MPH) in 4.7 seconds (which is surprisingly only slightly slower than a similar Porsche) — this is even though it weighs over 4,700 pounds. One must also remember that such thrust is steady and continuous no matter how many times one stops and goes — with no delay every single time. The XC40 Recharge has regenerative braking, with which much of the electricity just used is sent back to the battery pack just by releasing the accelerator. It’s the perfect solution for any situation, whether in rush hour traffic or enjoying the open roads.
The magic is in its 78 kilowatt-hour battery, which allows the XC40 Recharge to provide all of its fun for over 208 miles — without any impact to the environment since it requires no gasoline, no oil changes, and should be accommodating others soon. If one needs more miles, then they can simply plug the vehicle into a charger, which can replenish the battery from 0 to 80 percent in as little as 30 minutes. It shows that one can achieve speed, convenience, and environmental friendliness.
Such ease even extends to the vehicle’s warranty, which gives bumper-to-bumper protection for 4 years or 48,000, while the battery pack is covered for 8 years or 100,000 miles. Also, one can simply order the vehicle online with a $100 refundable deposit that allows the buyer to customize the XC40 Recharge and have it delivered to their home or local dealership within 4–6 weeks.
When one is ready to embrace the new age of automotive technology, know that the XC40 Recharge will be waiting to help you do so. As the Swedish saying goes: “Den som lever får se.” He who lives shall see.
Photos and test driving experience courtesy of Jeff Wells at Ourisman Volvo in Bethesda, Maryland.
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.