Volvo XC40 electric (Recharge) due in 2021 could see local assembly

The launch of the Volvo XC40 electric (Volvo XC40 Recharge) in India will take place in 2021. It could arrive as the first locally assembled luxury EV in India enabling a competitive price.

Speaking to PTI recently, Volvo Car India MD Charles Frump indicated that all Volvo models in India moving forward will have localisation. All the current CBU imports from Volvo would switch to local assembly next year. This means that the Volvo XC40 will become a locally assembled SUV by next year. Given the fact that the Volvo XC40 Recharge is just a variant of this model, it should be possible to localise it. Frump mentioned in previous media interactions that the company would consider assembling the EV in India (CKD)

With a significantly lower GST on electric four-wheelers (5%) compared to ICE four-wheelers, Volvo Car India already has the motivation to launch the Volvo XC40 Recharge at a really attractive price. A locally assembled Volvo XC40 Recharge would cost only marginally higher than a locally assembled Volvo XC40 Petrol. The lower GST on the former would make it possible to somewhat offset the relatively higher cost of its electric powertrain.

Speaking to last month, Frump had hinted that the first Volvo electric car price would fall between Rs 40-50 lakh (ex-showroom).

Volvo said in January that it had already received several thousand “firm orders” from online bookings that are open in select regions including the USA and Europe. Allocation for India we presume would depend on stable government policy for EVs and the evolution of sales of premium electric SUVs that have entered the market early. We expect Volvo Car India to secure a few hundred units of the XC40 EV from the plant in Belgium in the first year.

The decision on the pricing and local assembly would eventually come down to the sustained demand for electric vehicles. Volvo Car India would be studying the response to electric vehicle launches in India, and the higher-than-anticipated response to the MG ZS EV and Hyundai Kona Electric confirms that a niche is opening up in the premium segment for zero-emission crossovers. The VW ID.4, the Jaguar I-Pace and the Audi e-tron imported electric vehicles are also expected to arrive by next year. The launch of the Mercedes EQC in India, on the other hand, is just weeks away now, but being a CBU import, it would priced out of reach of most luxury car aspirants.

Volvo XC40 EV interior
The Volvo XC40 electric SUV will compete with the VW ID.4 in India.

Volvo XC40 Electric (Volvo XC40 Recharge) range & other specifications

The fully electric Volvo XC40 is Volvo’s first-ever production battery electric vehicle and the first model to appear in the new ‘Recharge’ car line concept. The Recharge variant features an all-wheel-drive powertrain, with two motors and a 78 kWh battery.

The Volvo XC40 Recharge has a range of over 400 km (WLTP) and its motor generates 408 hp and 660 Nm of torque. The battery charges to 80% of its capacity in 40 minutes on a fast-charger system. The pure electric luxury SUV can go from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.9 seconds and has a top speed of 180 km/h.

Not having an engine means that the vehicle provides owners with an additional storage space, via the so-called ‘frunk’ storage space under the bonnet.

The Volvo XC40 Recharge became the first Volvo to get an infotainment system powered by Android, with built-in Google Assistant, Google Maps and the Google Play Store. Unlike Android Auto which is a secondary interface over Android, Android Automotive OS is a dedicated platform that is fully integrated with the Volvo On Call digital connected services platform. The XC40 Recharge is also the first Volvo to receive software and operating system updates over the air for its software and operating system.

Volvo Cars aims to become a climate-neutral company by 2040

Volvo Cars has announced its plan to reduce its lifecycle carbon footprint per car by 40 per cent between 2018 and 2025, the first step towards making Volvo Cars a climate-neutral company by 2040.

As part of the goal, Volvo aims to generate 50 per cent of its global sales from fully electric cars by 2025, resulting in a 50 per cent reduction in tailpipe carbon emissions. Other short-term goals include 25 per cent reduction of CO2 emissions related to its global supply chain by 2025, 25 per cent share of recycled plastics in new Volvo cars by 2025 and a 25 per cent reduction of carbon emissions generated by the company’s overall operations, including manufacturing and logistics.

Volvo Cars will also be phasing out cars powered only by an internal combustion engine and from 2020, every Volvo car launched will be electrified.