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C40 Recharge is Volvo’s debut EV for SA

C40 Recharge becomes Volvo’s first fully electric vehicle offering in the South African market. And if you value exclusivity, and battery powertrain principles for personal transport, this is probably the car for you.

Volvo is marketing the battery-powered crossover at R1 285 000. That’s not cheap, but it’s pretty competitively priced in the new market for electric cars, which mostly edge towards R2m.

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With C40 Recharge, Volvo offers an all-wheel drive system and very potent performance. The design is a typically clean and subtle Swedish aesthetic, but there is nothing subtle about C40 Recharge’s acceleration.

Powered by 78kWh lithium-ion battery pack, it produces 300kW and 660Nm. Those numbers are good enough to deliver a 0-100km/h sprint in only 4.7 seconds. Quick enough to categorise this new battery-powered Volvo as a true performance car.

Ample driving range

But speed and sportscar acceleration statistics are hardly the design objective with this Swedish crossover. It’s all about living a driving life beyond liquid fuels. Volvo claims the C40 Recharge is good for a driving range of 444km, which should be adequate for most local journeys.

Included in the R1 285 000 purchase price is a home wallbox unit, which should make overnight charging a lot more efficient.

Volvo’s designers have optimised the packaging benefits of an electric powertrain, with C40 Recharge. Its 489-litres of rear luggage space is supplemented by a 31-litre frunk, where the conventional petrol or diesel engine would ordinarily be. Clever.

Animal free cabin

But what about the exclusivity issue? Electric cars are rare in South Africa, which gifts them implied exclusivity.

Volvo will only be allocating 50 of its C40s to the local dealer network, for sale. These cars will feature comprehensive specifications, including a 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system, with 13-speaker Harman Kardon sound.

And the luxurious cabin, with its sumptuously comfortable seats, is now completely leather-free. Volvo’s sustainability consultants and trim specialists have replaced all the leather touchpoints with artificial materials of similar tactility. So, if you only take oat milk with your flat white, the C40 Recharge is definitely for you.

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