JOHANNESBURG - Volvo Cars is one of a handful of carmakers that have confirmed an all-electric future as far as passenger vehicles go. By 2030, the Swedish carmaker’s entire portfolio of crossovers, SUVs and sportscars will use electric motors and batteries only, which means you will never have to worry about an oil change ever again!
Oil change jokes aside, there’s more to this electric vehicle revolution that’s taking place. Not only will electric cars offer greater savings in terms of overall running costs, they are also more advanced in terms of construction and rigidity, which make them safer. You can expect electric cars to be the safest cars on the road, as more and more manufacturers make use of V2X technology.
I’m very excited about the electric cars that are coming to South Africa, so much so that I’ve outfitted my home with a wall-box electric vehicle charger. It’s an easy to use system that will allow me to keep all electric test vehicles topped up while I make peace with the fact that V6, V8 V10 and V12 cars will be no more...
I am excited about the prospect of one electric car in particular this year, the new Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric. It was launched late last year in particular markets around the world and according to Volvo’s global press contact, it’s sold out in most markets for the remainder of the year. South Africa will receive a limited supply of the car this year, which Volvo SA is confident will sell like proverbial hot cakes, but we’re still waiting to see the pricing structure and which models in particular are landing in SA in terms of specification.
Nevertheless, here are just a few reasons why the Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric might just be the ideal replacement vehicle for your premium car, particularly if you’re looking for something new and exciting in an evolving market of new cars:
It’s able to take on long distances
According to Greg Maruszewski, Managing Director at Volvo Car South Africa, the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric is capable of travelling more than 400km on a single charge. “It can be charged to 80% of its battery capacity in as little as 40 minutes using a fast charger,” he reveals. Using a 7.4kW charger at home, I’ll be able to charge it from empty to 80% in about 8 hours.
It’s faster than most sports cars
Volvo says the XC40 Recharge will deliver a brisk performance, with its twin electric motors producing 304kW of power and 660Nm of torque to deliver a 0-100 km/h time of just 4.9 seconds. Volvo’s limiting its cars to 180km/h but as far as sprints between the lights and having a bit of fun accelerating now and then, very few ICE engine cars are going to keep up with you at the traffic lights. We’e already experienced the mind-numbing performance of the Taycan Turbo S and the Jaguar I-Pace and you can rest assured that this Volvo is going to deliver some serious punch in the gut then you step on what we used to call the “loud pedal”
It’s more practical than you think
While pleasing in the area of performance, the XC40 car scores highly in the field of practicality too. For instance, the removal of the internal combustion engine frees up space for an additional 30-litre storage compartment – or ‘frunk’ – under the front bonnet, while the placement of the batteries under the centre of the car means space is not compromised elsewhere. You can store store charging cables or your portable charger upfront in the frunk and you can still pack the boot with as much groceries as you could in the normal petrol XC40s.
Android Automotive comes standard
I touched on Android Automotive in my Maserati piece a few weeks ago; an on-board operating system that was developed by Google specifically for Volvo in this instance. It’s not to be confused with Android Auto, which you get when you plug your non-Apple phone into any decent multimedia system in a car these days, it’s a full-fat OS that handles the vehicle’s computing as well as the infotainment systems and safety systems. In the near future, we expect more cars to come with Android Automotive and V2X which will improve data mining and provide vehicles with more information to ensure greater safety on the road.
SA is ready for electric cars
Owners will be able to charge the vehicle at a dealership, at home or at one of the ever-growing network of public charging stations. Volvo Car South Africa is also rolling out an extensive network of charging stations at its dealerships and, by the end of 2021, each Volvo dealership will have a charging station.
The XC40 is the first of five fully electric cars to be launched by the Swedish company over the next five years (we already saw the C40 Recharge Pure Electric earlier this month).
“Volvo Cars will launch a fully electric car every year, as we look to make all-electric cars 50% of global sales by 2025, with the rest hybrids. Recharge will be the overarching name for all chargeable Volvos with a fully electric and plug-in hybrid powertrain,” Maruszewski explains.
He believes that the XC40 Recharge will find favour in South Africa: “South Africans are already firm fans of the internal combustion engine-powered XC40; it had an 8.40% share of its segment in 2019; that grew to 14.70% in 2020. We look forward to bringing the huge benefits of electric driving – and more – to an already award-winning package,” he concludes.
Volvo dealers will start taking orders for the XC40 Recharge from 1 April and deliveries will commence from August. The price of the XC40 Recharge will be confirmed next week.