Pure-electric Volvo XC40 P8 Recharge priced from £53,155

Volvo’s first electric vehicle is available to order in sporty R-Design specification now

The Volvo XC40 P8 Recharge is on sale in the UK now. It’s the Swedish brand’s first attempt at an electric SUV to rival the forthcoming Tesla Model Y

Prices for the Volvo XC40 P8 Recharge start from £53,155 for the R-Design specification, which means there’s a caveat for UK buyers. Any electric car priced from more than £50,000 doesn’t receive the £3,000 Plug-in Car Grant government subsidy, so XC40 P8 buyers will have to pay full price.

Like the standard XC40, the P8 is based on Volvo’s Common Modular Architecture (CMA). It’s powered by a 78kWh battery pack mounted in the SUV’s floor, which drives an electric motor on each axle. The system has a maximum output of 402bhp and 660Nm of torque for a claimed 0-62mph time of 4.9 seconds.

Officially, Volvo says that the electric XC40 can travel up to 259 miles on a single charge and, when plugged into a 150kW rapid charger, it’ll recover an 80 per cent charge in around 40 minutes. However, the company recently rolled out its first over-the-air software update for the EV, so both of these figures are expected to improve shortly.

As the battery pack is mounted along the SUV’s spine, Volvo says the electric XC40’s cabin and boot space are identical to the standard car. As an added benefit, with no engine under the bonnet there’s an extra 30 litres of storage, which can be used to stow the charging cables.

Standard equipment for the XC40 P8 Recharge R-Design includes 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, rear privacy glass and rear park assist. Inside, buyers get Volvo’s R-Design leather seats, a leather steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a nine-inch portrait infotainment system.

Visually, the XC40 P8 Recharge is marked out by ‘Recharge’ badging on the car’s C-pillars and a blanked off radiator grille, which Volvo says improves the car’s aerodynamics and therefore helps range. The styling tweaks are only minor.

Eventually, Volvo will also introduce a less powerful front-wheel-drive version of the electric XC40, which should drop the car’s price-tag below the £50,000 threshold. However, details on this new model are still yet to be confirmed.

The electric XC40 heralded the arrival of Volvo’s new sub-brand, called Recharge, under which all the firm’s plug-in models will now sit. 

Five more electric cars will join the XC40 Recharge in the Volvo line-up over the next five years, with Volvo aiming for electric vehicles to account for 50 per cent of its sales by 2025. The Swedish firm also plans to only sell electric cars from 2030.

Volvo recently made the decision to move all the sales of its pure-electric cars online, which it says will set the foundations for its upcoming EV range. 

Lex Kerssemakers, Volvo’s Global Operations Chief said: “We want to offer our customers peace of mind and a care-free way of having a Volvo, by taking away complexity while getting and driving the car. Simplification and convenience are key to everything we do.”

Hungry for more Volvo news? Read all the latest on the brand’s planned entry-level XC20 crossover here

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