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Volvo Goes Fully Electric With the XC40 Recharge

Delivering on promises, the Sweden-based automaker with a penchant for safety and sustainability announced the all-electric Volvo XC40 Recharge in Los Angeles last week, revealing a compact SUV with sleek styling cues spearheading the brand’s electrified engineering and design intentions.

Based upon the small SUV Volvo XC40, the Recharge edition switches in a fully electric all-wheel drive powertrain capable of smoothly skating around for distances over 200 miles on a single charge, producing 402hp of output good for a zero to 60 mph time in 4.7 second. Even more impressive is the XC40 Recharge’s ability to recharge its battery back up to 80 percent capacity in just 40 minutes when using a 150 kW fast-charger system.

At quick glance, Volvo’s first EV could be mistaken for its gas-fueled predecessor, leaning toward subtle styling cues to distinguish itself rather than wearing its EV credentials conspicuously. Without a gas engine to worry about, Volvo designers abandon the traditional grill for a visible streamlined fascia. It’s not quite as severe styling departure like Tesla 3’s complete erasure of the grill, but it does impart a distinct presence up front, with the Volvo insignia hiding/housing. Equally easy to miss: there’s no tailpipe to speak of either, for obvious reasons.

Following the lines to the rear, the XC40 Recharge’s roofline spoiler is adorned with a (very) modest Recharge graphic that might require pointing out. It’s easy to miss, but we applaud Volvo for erring on the side of subtle.

Without the spatial requirements of a traditional gas engine, Volvo was able to use the space for additional storage for a “frunk” – front trunk. It’s not a significant amount of space, but good for a few extra bags of groceries or large hiker’s 30L backpack.

Volvo introduces the XC40 Recharge in eight flavors, including Sage Green, a hue which we think might strongly appeal to buyers who traditionally lean the direction of Subaru crossovers.

Volvo XC40 Recharge P8 AWD in Sage Green

Volvo XC40 Recharge P8 AWD in Glacier Silver

Volvo XC40 Recharge’s plug-in 78 kilowatt-hour Battery Package is manufactured by Korea’s LG Chem and China’s CTAL. And as an incentive, Volvo is offering an entire year’s worth of free electricity for every customer who buys a plug-in hybrid Recharge vehicle.

Fully electric Volvo XC40 introduces a brand new Android Automotive-powered infotainment system.

The interior of the electrified edition of the Volvo XC40 presents a staid counterpart to its non-EV sibling, but it does standout as the first Volvo – but not first Volvo-produced – model with a native Android Auto infotainment system powering its operating system (Volvo’s luxe-performance Polestar 2 carries the designation as the first.)

Expect to pay in the ballpark of $48,000 for one of these Volvo XC40 Recharge SUVs after the $7,500 federal tax credit, with delivery scheduled for late 2020. Volvo is already taking $1,000 deposits to allow interested parties to get first in line, with additional information and “build yours” options here.

Gregory Han is Tech Editor of Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at gregoryhan.com.