Volvo's C40 Recharge en route to SA: Orders open for Swedish automaker's third electric vehicle

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  • Volvo has opened order books for its third electric vehicle for the South African market in less than two years.
  • First customer deliveries are scheduled to arrive in June 2023.
  • The C40 Recharge has a driving range of up to 444km.

Just two years ago, if you wanted to buy an electric vehicle in South Africa, you could only pick between the Porsche Taycan, Mini SE, BMW i3 and the Jaguar I-Pace. Since then, Audi has added three EVs to its local range, Mercedes has four but will soon have six in total, and BMW's arsenal will grow to five in just a few months. Volvo already has two models, and now a third is on the way.

In February, Volvo Cars South Africa announced that local order books for the new fully electric C40 Recharge have officially opened. The stunning vehicle was revealed at the Cape Town stop-over leg of the 2023 Volvo Ocean Race.

Available online only through the My Volvo website and offered exclusively in flagship Ultimate specification, the Swedish firm's latest electric vehicle has a starting price of R1 285 000. South Africa's initial allocation is 50 units, with the first customer cars scheduled for delivery as soon as June 2023.

2021 Volvo C40 Recharge
2021 Volvo C40 Recharge

The Swedish automaker says the purchase price includes the Volvo Care package, which comprises a five-year maintenance plan and warranty (with the battery pack covered for eight years or 160 000km), a home charging wallbox and a public charging cable.

Aerodynamic shape

Considering just how fast orders were placed with Volvo's first two electric vehicles, the C40 Recharge will be popular too. The XC40 P8 Recharge sold out in four days, while the XC40 P6 sold out in less than 24 hours. Uptake for the third model might be slower, but availability is much higher than in the first two rounds.

Thanks to its twin-motor configuration – one on the front axle and one on the rear axle – the C40 Recharge benefits from all-wheel-drive traction and impressive peak outputs of 300kW and 660Nm. Power is instantaneous in electric vehicles, so immediate access to its maximum torque figure sees the C40 reach the 0-100km/h sprint in a mere 4.7 seconds. The driving range in this vehicle is up to 444km (according to the WLTP cycle), thanks to the 78kWh high-voltage lithium-ion battery pack.

Volvo C40 Recharge
Volvo C40 Recharge

Greg Maruszewski, Managing Director at Volvo Car South Africa, says the compact newcomer is powerful and surprisingly practical. "The sleekly styled C40 Recharge's low roofline and striking rear-end design contribute to its aerodynamic shape, yet it still offers the high seating position most Volvo drivers prefer. It also features a generous luggage capacity of 489 litres, accessed via the standard power-operated tailgate and supplemented by a handy 31-litre frunk," said Maruszewski.

The automaker says the C40 Recharge is the first Volvo model to be designed as pure electric-only and the first to come with a completely leather-free interior, instead offering high-quality, sustainable upholstery.

Defining the spec level

The Ultimate trim level means the C40 Recharge is well-specced with standard items such as electrically adjustable front seats, seat heating (both front and rear), a heated steering wheel, a panoramic sunroof, wireless smartphone charging, and two-zone climate control (incorporating Volvo's special air-purifying system).

Volvo C40 Recharge
Volvo C40 Recharge

It also features the latest Android-powered infotainment system, which runs through a 9.0-inch touchscreen, built-in Google apps and services, a 12.3-inch digital driver display, and a 13-speaker Harman Kardon premium sound system. 

Maruszewski says the C40 Recharge is the latest step towards Volvo's goal of half of its global sales volume comprising fully electric cars by 2025, with the remainder taking the form of hybrids. 

By 2030, the firm plans for every new vehicle it sells to be completely electric, demonstrating its steadfast commitment to a zero-emission future.

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