Volvo has updated its fully electric C40 and XC40 models with increased range, improved charging, and rear-wheel-drive.
The refresh for the new model year of both the C40 Recharge and XC40 Recharge sees three new powertrains including two rear-wheel-drive variants and a revised all-wheel-drive performance model.
This marks the first time in 25 years that Volvo will offer a rear-wheel-drive product, and Volvo hits another first, having developed in-house the second-generation permanent magnet electric motor driving the rear axles for the fully electric C40 and XC40 models.
“These updates are another big step in our work towards becoming a fully electric car maker by 2030,” said Javier Varela, Volvo chief operating officer and deputy chief executive.
“Range and charging times are new key factors for more and more of our customers, and these improvements make our fully electric models even more attractive than they already were.”
The three variants apply to both the XC40 and C40, and see an improved permanent magnet electric motor on the single motor standard range model. This replaces the outgoing 170kW single-motor front-wheel drive variant with a 175kW single-motor rear-wheel drive variant.
The base model XC40 and C40 will come with the same 69kWh battery capacity, but improvements in cooling efficiency now means increased range for the XC40 up to 460 kilometers (WLTP) compared with 425km.
The C40 Recharge variant similarly sees range improve from 476km, up from 438km. A 10-80% charge takes around 34 minutes.
The single motor extended range RWD variants come with a larger 82kWh battery coupled with an 185kW e-motor on the rear axle. This delivers a range of up to 515km for the XC40 Recharge and up to 533km for the C40 Recharge.
Charging power is also improved on the larger 82kWh battery pack, allowing for charging at an updated top rate of 200kW DC, up from 150kW DC maximum, giving a 10-80% charge of around 28 minutes.
Finally, the all-wheel-drive variant provides the in-house developed 183kWh e-motor on the rear axle and a new 117kW asynchronous electric motor on the front axle.
The new configuration – an improvement over the previous set-up of two 150 kW e-motors on the front and rear axles – is pared with an 82 kWh battery pack and overall efficiency improvements in battery cooling.
This means the XC40 Recharge Twin Motor AWD delivers up to 500km on a single charge, up to 62km on the previous model, meanwhile, the C40 Recharge Twin Motor AWD offers up to 507km, up from 451km.
Joshua S. Hill is a Melbourne-based journalist who has been writing about climate change, clean technology, and electric vehicles for over 15 years. He has been reporting on electric vehicles and clean technologies for Renew Economy and The Driven since 2012. His preferred mode of transport is his feet.