By on October 16, 2019

volvo cars

Volvo Cars’ new electric crossover has a name, and it just happens to be something people hate doing. The XC40 is the brand’s new EV, crafted out of the compact XC40 crossover and helped in its mission by the model’s versatile modular platform. To make it work, Volvo first carried out some alterations. See details here.

“Recharge” isn’t just the name applied to the brand’s new EV ⁠— it’s a new sub-brand under which all upcoming EVs and plug-in hybrids will reside. An invitation to confusion or buried psychological disdain? Possibly.

As plug-in hybrids are not a new thing in the Volvo lineup, the brand already boasts numerous vehicles worthy of the badge. And they’ll get that badge, starting now. As more fully-electric models enter the fray, they too will gain a Recharge label.

volvo cars

It’s something of an odd strategy to lump both PHEVs and EVs under the same banner, as donning the name “Recharge” implies that the vehicle requires it. In a PHEV, one needn’t plug in their vehicle ever again, should they choose to ignore why they paid thousands more for such a feature.

As for EVs, range anxiety remains an issue afflicting the segment, despite advances in battery capacity and driving radius. You can’t carry a jerry can of electricity back to your car after paying the occupants of a nearby farmhouse for it. With this in mind, naming a vehicle after the thing that weighs heavily on the psyche of some buyers is an interesting decision.

Then again, Volvo has an aggressive electrification plan underway. The brand hopes to make EVs account for half of the automaker’s sales by 2025 ⁠— a lofty goal, to be sure, given current adoption rates (Europe and Asia will clearly do the heavy lifting). All Volvo models will be electrified in some way under the plan, meaning no purely gas-powered vehicles. The automaker expects PHEVs to make up 20 percent of its volume next year.

volvo cars

“From early 2020 customers entering the Volvo Cars website will first be asked whether they want a Volvo Recharge car or not,” the automaker stated. “To further encourage electric driving, every Volvo Recharge plug-in hybrid model will come with free electricity for a year, provided through a refund for the average electricity cost during that period.”

As for the XC40 Recharge, the all-wheel drive crossover generates up to 408 horsepower and boasts a range of 249 miles on the European WLTP cycle. EPA figures should pare this back to just over 200 miles.

The XC40 Recharge carries another innovation for the company that, like the powertrain, is often associated with the act of recharging. The model is Volvo’s first vehicle outfitted with Google’s Android operating system as the brains behind the infotainment screen.

Expect pricing to land closer to the model’s on-sale date.

[Images: Volvo Cars]

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11 Comments on “What’s in a Name? Volvo Reveals ‘XC40 Recharge’ and ‘Volvo Recharge’...”


  • avatar
    dal20402

    Why would anyone hate recharging? When I get home, I plug the car in. It’s charged when I go to drive it again. No thought required, and (even better) no trips to gas stations.

    It has enough range so that if I forget one time, or even two, it’s no big deal.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Brought back memories of nightly fuel-ups.

      When I was still working (self-employed), that’s what I would do on my way home; stop at the nearest Bradley gas station, top off, and drive the 26 miles home.

      Did that for 30 years, mid 1985 – end 2015.

    • 0 avatar

      You are screwed during a power failure.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        In areas where there are weather-related power failures, people living there tend to buy portable AC generators out of necessity.

        A Kohler 22KW natgas generator costs a lot of money to be sure, but it will keep your house lit, your refrigerators running AND still have some juice left over for an overnight EV charge.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Yeah I hate refueling much more than recharging, often waiting in lines, and in certain times of the year standing out in the cold. Not to mention the time spent compared to the seconds it takes to plug it in when you get home and unplug it when you are ready to go.

  • avatar

    What the name change? I thought they called it “Pole Dancer” or something like that just few months ago.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Might want to Rethink that name.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    It was bound to happen. Something was lost in translation from the original Chinese and Geely named their new EV in a way that serves as a brutal reminder that buyers have chosen a technology that’s been justifiably obsolete for a century.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    Ugh. Picking the name of the thing that’s most feared and misunderstood by EV novices will just scare off ICE drivers. And lumping the PHEVs in with the EVs will drive off EV buyers, since Volvo’s PHEVs are the usual bad-faith Euro tax-dodge variety that’s unable to eke out more than maybe a dozen miles range, and can’t keep the ICE extinguished unless you drive like there’s a fragile ostrich egg under the accelerator. Marketing fail from either angle.

    That said: 408 horsepower in a subcompact CUV!? That sounds like some tire-shredding fun. Let me guess: Volvo isn’t targeting a price of just $40k before incentives for this tough little robot anymore.

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