Hybrids and plug-in hybrids play a role in the future electrification plans of many automakers, but that's not good enough for Volvo. The Swedish automaker is going all-in with an aggressive strategy to sell only pure-electric vehicles by 2030. To demonstrate its commitment to the goal, Volvo is churning out EVs like butter. Following the debut of the XC40 Recharge in 2019, Volvo has now revealed a lower and sleeker version of the crossover which it dubs the C40 Recharge. Although it shares many features with its XC40 sibling, the C40 will not be offered with gas power, making it the first electric-only model for the brand and ushering in the company's new vision.
The Sleek C40 Recharge Arrives
The C40 Recharge features a streamlined silhouette, a lower roofline than the XC40, and a distinct front fascia design incorporating advanced pixel-technology that Volvo will use for its future EV lineup. The cabin will be similar to the XC40 Recharge, providing a high seating position, a panoramic sunroof, and a wide range of color and styling options. The C40 does get some unique touches like backlit trim panels on the dashboard and doors.
One option that you won't find inside the C40 is genuine leather. Volvo has committed to making the new SUV leather-free which includes the steering wheel, gear shifter, and upholstery. It says this decision demonstrates a more respectful approach to luxury vehicle materials and design.
In addition to the interior design, the C40 Recharge will share its infotainment system with the XC40 Recharge which is unique from the Volvo Sensus system found in the rest of the Volvo lineup. The system is jointly developed with Google and based on the Android operating system. It will come with the full suite of Google apps and services built-in, such as Google Maps, Google Assistant, and the Google Play Store.
Like the XC40, The Volvo C40 will house a 78kWh battery along with twin electric motors, one on the front and one on the rear axle. The battery can be fast-charged to 80 percent in about 40 minutes, and provide an all-electric range of 210 miles. The new crossover is expected to get 402-horsepower, a 0-60 in 4.7 seconds, and a top speed of 112 mph.
“The C40 Recharge represents the future of Volvo and shows where we are going,” said Henrik Green, chief technology officer. “It is fully electric, offered online only with a convenient care package and will be available for quick delivery. Getting a new Volvo was never this attractive.”
Volvo Plans to be Fully Electric by 2030
The C40 Recharge represents a new era for Volvo as the first vehicle to be designed as pure-electric only. It also moves the company towards the lofty goal of phasing out all internal combustion engines from the portfolio, including hybrids.
In addition to the goal of fighting climate change, Volvo believes there is no long-term future for the internal combustion engine from a demand perspective. As a result, it is charging ahead on electric-only vehicles like the C40. By 2025, Volvo wants to have 50% of its global sales be full-electric and the rest hybrid. By 2030, the automaker wants to have the hybrids fully phased out, offering only pure electric cars.
“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,” said Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive. “We are fully focused on becoming a leader in the fast-growing premium electric segment.”
All Pure Electric Volvos Will be Sold Online Only
The move to pure-electric power in less than a decade isn't the only dramatic step Volvo is taking. It is also revolutionizing how customers will purchase the new lineup of EVs. On the same day that the C40 was revealed, Volvo announced that it will offer all its pure electric models online only. This means you won't be able to stroll into your local Volvo dealership to purchase this new model.
With the goal of simplifying the purchase process and improving the customer experience, Volvo says it will have a flagship online store that will reduce the steps involved in the car buying process. Customers will be able to choose from pre-configured electric Volvos that are ready for convenient ordering and quick delivery. It also will take the most stressful step of the car buying process (negotiations) out of the equation with transparent and set pricing models.
“The future of Volvo Cars is defined by three pillars: electric, online, and growth,” says Lex Kerssemakers, head of global commercial operations. “We want to offer our customers peace of mind and a care-free way of having a Volvo, by taking away complexity while getting and driving the car. Simplification and convenience are key to everything we do.”
The C40 Recharge will go into production this fall, but Volvo is taking pre-orders for the electric crossover on its website with a $500 deposit. The C40 Recharge will be built alongside the XC40 Recharge at the Volvo Cars manufacturing plant in Ghent, Belgium.