The XC40 Recharge Pure Electric P8 is the first of several fully electric Volvos to come, and today’s production start represents a significant step towards Volvo Cars’ ambition to reduce its CO2 footprint per car by 40 per cent by 2025. That same year, it expects 50 per cent of its global sales to consist of fully electric cars, with the rest hybrids.
Customer demand for the XC40 Recharge P8 has been strong and, while order books remain open, every car scheduled to be built this calendar year has already been sold. The first cars are scheduled to be delivered to customers in Europe later this month.
The start of customer car production follows a period of preparation in which the Ghent plant 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 P8 is based on the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), an advanced vehicle platform co-developed within the Geely Group.
The all-wheel-drive XC40 Recharge P8 offers a projected range of more than 249 miles (400km) (WLTP, Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure) on a single charge and output of 408hp. The battery can charge to 80 per cent of its capacity in approximately 40 minutes on a fast-charger system.
The new, Android-powered infotainment system offers customers unprecedented personalisation, improved levels of intuitiveness and embedded Google technology and services, such as the Google Assistant, Google Maps and the Google Play Store. The XC40 Recharge P8 also receives larger software and operating system updates over the air.
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 car’s centre of gravity, for better protection against roll-overs.
Inside, an innovative approach to all-round functionality gives drivers plenty of storage space, for example in the doors, under the seats and in the luggage compartment. Because it has no internal combustion engine, the car gives drivers even more storage space via a so-called ‘frunk’ under the bonnet.