Volvo unveils C40 Recharge and plans to go all-electric by 2030

Second all-electric Volvo aims to bolster the brand’s lineup as it reaches for a new goal by the end of the decade

Gothenburg, Sweden

Volvo has just unveiled its second all-electric vehicle, the Volvo C40 Recharge. The brand also appears to really want to grab headlines in the electric vehicle arms race, announcing that it will make only electric vehicles by 2030, and sell them entirely online.

Everything you need to know about electric car ownership in Singapore

Meanwhile, the C40 Recharge is built on the same CMA platform as the XC40 Recharge, and was designed to use technology already in use to speed its entry into series production. 

It’s helpful to think of the C40 Recharge as a sleeker version of the XC40, or as is fashionable these days, an SUV-coupe version of it. There’s a more pronounced curve to the roofline finishing at a rear spoiler, and some sharper lines that are claimed to help improve aerodynamic efficiency.

The interior takes what Volvo thinks are the best-features of the XC40’s design and adds new features. The infotainment system is run on Android, paired with Google Assistant providing natural speech assistance.

Front and rear motors make it a four-wheel drive vehicle, and it takes energy from three separate battery packs that are stashed within the crash structure for maximum protection in the event of an accident. Official figures 

It’s got 407 horsepower and 78 kilowatt-hours of usable energy onboard in three isolated packs, built into the crash structure for enhanced safety. The 0 to 100km/h sprint takes 4.9 seconds, which is nowhere near as fast as what a Tesla Model 3 can manage but still faster than what most other internal combustion engined cars can manage. 

Volvo claims that the car has an estimated range of 420km, but also candidly states that this version of the C40 isn’t the final product and there will be room for improvement as technology matures along the way. The brand claims that this is the best EV it can make currently, but it will be further updated along the way with over-the-air updates that improve range and usability.

Also interesting is the revelation that the car is really designed as a second family car for suburban family use, which is why it doesn’t come equipped with crazy power outputs and overly large battery capacities.

Wearnes Automotive, the distributor for Volvo in Singapore, has stated that there are currently no plans to sell the C40 Recharge here. But in the unlikely event that the car eventually arrives, you can expect a price tag that will likely be above the current Volvo XC40 PHEV’s S$223,000 with COE. 

Then there’s still the matter of Volvo’s grand plan of becoming a full electric car maker by 2030. The brand expects full electric vehicles to make up 50 percent of its worldwide sales by 2025. China is expected to play a large part in this as electric vehicle sales in the country is still the most successful in the world. 

Plus the idea of selling cars entirely online may not be that far fetched, given how the Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically reshaped so many aspects of the retail experience. But one can’t help but wonder, why is every automaker rushing ahead with attention-grabbing news about going electric, after years of dragging their heels? 

Has technology matured enough to make it affordable to do so, or have the governments of the world collectively seen the light and are now so heavily invested in the big electric push that it has become the only way forwards?


about the author

Lionel Kong
Lionel Kong
An old hand from the bad old days of crazy COEs, the straight-shooting, ex-CarBuyer editor is back in the four-wheeled world. Rumours that he went to another country to start a Judas Priest tribute band are unfounded.