The Volvo XC40 Recharge has a claimed 400km range and can sprint from 0-100km/h in 4.9 seconds. Picture: SUPPLIED
The Volvo XC40 Recharge has a claimed 400km range and can sprint from 0-100km/h in 4.9 seconds. Picture: SUPPLIED

Future Volvo customers will need to answer one fundamental question: do you want a new Volvo with a cord or without one?

Volvo Cars has introduced the XC40 Recharge, the company’s first ever fully electric car and the first model to appear in its brand new Recharge car line concept.

The XC40 Recharge, based on the XC40 compact SUV, is the first of a family of fully electric Volvos.

Over the next five years, Volvo Cars will launch a fully electric car every year as it seeks to make all-electric cars 50% of global sales by 2025, with the rest hybrids. Recharge will be the umbrella name for all chargeable Volvos with a fully electric and plug-in hybrid powertrain.

Volvo Cars is the only manufacturer to offer a plug-in variant on every model in its line-up and every model in the range includes a Recharge option, from the small XC40 SUV via the 60 Series cars to the company’s flagship, the large XC90 SUV.

From early 2020 customers entering the Volvo Cars website will first be asked whether they want a Volvo Recharge car or not.

The battery charges to 80% of its capacity in 40 minutes on a fast-charger system. Picture: SUPPLIED
The battery charges to 80% of its capacity in 40 minutes on a fast-charger system. Picture: SUPPLIED

To further encourage electric driving, every Volvo Recharge plug-in hybrid model will come with free electricity for a year, provided through a refund for the average electricity cost during that period.

“We have said this several times before: for Volvo Cars, the future is electric,” said CEO Håkan Samuelsson. “Today we take a major new step in that direction with the launch of our fully electric XC40 and the Recharge car line.”

The XC40 Recharge has a fully electric all-wheel drive powertrain that offers a range of more than 400km on a single charge and outputs of 300kW and 660Nm.

Claimed performance is 0-100km/h in 4.9 seconds and a top speed of 180km/h, while the battery charges to 80% of its capacity in 40 minutes on a fast-charger system.

It is also the first Volvo with a new infotainment system powered by Google’s Android operating system — better late than never.

The Android-powered infotainment system is integrated with Volvo On Call, the company’s digital connected services platform. Via Volvo On Call, plug-in hybrid drivers can track how much time they spend driving on electric power.

To meet the anticipated growth in demand for its Recharge cars, Volvo Cars will triple production capacity for electrified cars.

Volvo Cars’ ambition is to become a climate-neutral company by 2040.

It hasn’t yet been confirmed whether the XC40 Recharge will be sold in SA.