I like the way Volvo call their electric cars Recharge. Well that’s what you have to do, re-charge the car before you head off. In the case of the C40 that I drove last week that charge is fairly rapid and you should get around 430km if you drive sensibly on a full charge.
The last time I drove an electric version of a Volvo there was an app missing and I could only get the range left as a percentage of the full charge. This time the app was there and it’s definitely more reassuring to see that you have a range of say 80 kilometres left rather than something like five or seven per cent.
Volvo’s C40 Recharge is the coupé-SUV version of the award-winning XC40 Recharge SUV, and is the first Volvo car to debut as a purely electric model.
Available only in a five door body style, the C40 Recharge uses the same mechanicals as its XC40 sibling, and has all the benefits of an SUV but with a lower, sleeker design.
It’s a bit strange when you sit in as there is no ignition button to start the car. Once the key is in the car or your pocket you just engage ‘drive’ and off you go. Same when you finish, no button to turn off the engine or hand-brake to engage.
I have got used to driving and looking at several different variations of electric cars. Externally the main difference is the grille at the front is gone and you get a boxed-off look.
Last week I noticed a few pedestrians passing by my parked car comment on how dull the front of the Volvo and most electric cars now look.
Maybe it was the gorgeous colour that caught the passers-by eyes. My test car came in Fjord Blue. It’s a colour I haven’t seen in a long time, but a quick visit to Mr Google brought up a picture of a 1959 VW Beetle in Fjord Blue. So the old saying is true, everything has been tried before.
The rear of the car has a distinctive striking design to go with the lower roof line, while that new front design includes headlights with state-of-the-art pixel technology.
It’s a really comfortable motor and all the family loved the high driving position. Volvo was founded in Sweden in 1927 and has a great reputation for safety. That’s especially true when reversing as you get a bird’s eye of your surroundings, which should help you avoid any scrapes.
The C40 Recharge is the first Volvo with a 100% leather-free interior. Volvo say this represents a new, more respectful interpretation of luxury and how materials can be used in car design.
There is massive boot space and if you leave down the back seat you get over 1,200 litres of space to transport various items. In addition, there is also luggage space in the ‘frunk’ at the front.
I was talking to a man in Dundalk last week, who is thinking about a switch to electric cars. I mentioned that he might not have too much ‘range anxiety’ in the Volvo C40. He hadn’t heard that phrase previously and thought that it really summed up the worries people have about electric cars.
Apart from that dull look at the front, it’s a gorgeous motor, but a bit pricey. Prices start at €53,730, but my test car cost €68,950. Road tax is only €120.