Volvo XC40 Recharge Electric Pricing Announced at $54,985

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Making good on its promise that the future will be electric, Volvo has readied the XC40 Recharge P8 compact crossover for a spring debut. Though it doesn’t seem to have secured an idyllic price tag. The electrified XC40 starts at $54,985, including a $995 destination fee, which makes it around $20,000 dearer than the gasoline model. That’s a lot of dough for such a small vehicle, even after federal (and potentially state) tax incentives shave a few thousand off the top. Surely customers will be getting a top-shelf automobile on par with the Tesla Model 3 Performance, if not better, to help that MSRP make some sense. But the math just isn’t working out in Volvo’s favor based on the specs given. Model 3 destroys it in every metric that isn’t headroom because it is not a crossover.

While the XC40 Recharge comes in below its larger European counterparts on price, and often by a fairly narrow margin, its maximum range is an EPA-estimated 208 miles. That places it within striking distance of the bigger electrics manufactured by Audi or Jaguar. But Tesla will happily sell customers a Model Y boasting 326 miles of range for about $10,000 less than the XC40. The only downside is that the American brand’s sales success has already exhausted its allotted federal tax credits, meaning you’ll get more money from the government if you buy something Swedish-Chinese.

Volvo said the Recharge would have a 78 kWh battery pack and a dual motor setup delivering a combined 300 kW. That’s allegedly good enough to see 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds from a dead stop and is closer to what we’d expect from an EV in 2020. But that range isn’t great and has been the Achilles heel for some European automakers hoping to export electric cars to North America — where the average commute takes a bit longer.

Part of the problem is that the XC40 is not a dedicated EV. While Volvo always planned to build an electric version of the crossover, it started life as a gasoline-powered automobile. This may also make the model a tough sell when it’s positioned beside nearly identical vehicles with an MSRP that’s $20,000 cheaper. But the manufacturer seems confident that the vehicle has other features that will help sway customers.

The XC40 Recharge P8 will be the first car in Volvo’s lineup to include an Android-powered infotainment system that bakes in Google’s Assistant, Maps, Play Store, and more. This opens up the door to network the car to home devices and personal accounts, though it is kind of creepy how integrated Big Tech is becoming in regard to automobiles. This is doubly true as vehicles increasingly utilize equipment (cameras, radar arrays, ultrasonic sensors) as part of advanced safety suites, which the XC40 EV is also getting.

Volvo has said demand for the model is already strong, however, and is already contributing to the corporate plan of having 50 percent of its global sales to consist of pure EVs by 2025. North America can expect to see the 2021 XC40 Recharge going on sale early next year. Meanwhile, production is already underway in Belgium and Europe should be seeing deliveries before the end of October.

[Images: Volvo Cars]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Oct 21, 2020

    Another "Tesla killer" with a high price, big battery, and terrible range. This was the car I hoped for a while ago, but not with these specs or this price. Actually, the Polestar 2 (the XC40's cousin) is priced a bit higher but is a much nicer car with better proportions.

    • See 1 previous
    • Ajla Ajla on Oct 21, 2020

      The Polestar 2 is a decent looking vehicle with good handling. However it is Tesla "Performance" priced for "Long Range" trim acceleration and "Standard" trim range. It's also built in China, which I know doesn't bother some people but that's not working for me in the foreseeable future.

  • RHD RHD on Oct 21, 2020

    Volvo is on the right track. At least it resembles a normal car. Too bad the range is so low, because range anxiety is what keeps buyers from adopting new and better tech. What buyers don't consider is that even though it's pricey, it will probably last for a half million miles. I'm holding out for an electric Miata, or even an S2000 equivalent, complete with manual transmission.

    • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Oct 21, 2020

      My idea of normal car is a little different from yours. Volvo looks like mini CUV if anything.

  • EBFlex Man it’s good to be proven right, yet again. Ford is a complete disaster and Fartley needs to go asap. Hes cancer just like Mulally. This push into EVs has completely ruined Ford. And their dictator like demands of the dealers has been extremely unreasonable. It’s nice to see manufacturers suffering greatly from diving head first into EVs.
  • Theflyersfan Good step one here Honda because the Civic is a strong seller. Now let's hear about your Prius Prime fighter plug in hybrid Civic. They fell behind - the Insight never tore up the sales charts - I'd expect markups and wait lists given we might have a hybrid here that could be somewhat fun to drive.
  • SCE to AUX Absurd."seven vehicles being planned for the United States by 2027"If that's the total number of vehicles shipped, then it makes sense.True statement: "French automakers seem to have a real knack for building innovative vehicles and totally misunderstanding the American market"
  • Jkross22 All in this lease is $810-840/month after tax. Not horrible but by no means is this a deal. It's also a 30k mile lease, meaning you'll likely be paying more at the end for the extra miles plus the $500 disposition fee. So it's about 30 grand for the 3 years. No gracias.
  • Tane94 Answer: They can't.