AN electric ownership experience completely free of stress, sacrifice or compromise.
That’s still a combination that can’t be guaranteed, even as more drivers switch on to zero emissions motoring.
But not only has Scandinavian brand Volvo managed it with the new XC40 Recharge Pure Electric but the Swedish company has achieved it with comfort, safety, practicality and quite scintillating performance.
And to make things more straightforward for potential customers, Volvo has not only made the popular compact SUV available to buy online but also via a subscription service.
As for range, well the XC40 can travel up to 259 miles on a single charge, depending on which model you go for.
Three new versions have recently hit the streets, starting with the XC40 Recharge Twin at £49,950 and followed by Twin Plus versions at £52,950 and the Twin Pro at £56,700.
They all come at a premium price, though Volvo expects 95 per cent of retail customers to take advantage of the Care by Volvo subscription packages which provide a Fixed or Flexible alternative to traditional car ownership.
It’s a car dripping with class and distinction though, as shown by the flagship Twin Pro we drove at the Volvo media launch in Worcestershire.
This a compact family car with quite astounding power and pace – a massive 408bhp of wallop on tap enabling the Volvo to scorch from standstill to 62mph in a mere 4.9 seconds. There are also two levels of brake regeneration.
It’s well planted on the road too thanks to the car’s twin motor all-wheel drive set-up and, based on the charge level percentages, we were on course to match the claimed driving range for this model of 256 miles.
The car can be charged from zero to 80 per cent capacity in 40 minutes using a 150kW fast charger, otherwise a full hit using the 11kW onboard charger will take eight hours.
Meanwhile, the battery’s design and packaging means no cabin space is lost. In fact there’s actually more load volume than regular XC40s courtesy of an extra 31 litres of storage space below the bonnet.
While refinement on this car is of the high standard you would expect from Volvo, every XC40 pure electric comes comprehensively kitted out and includes the company’s new Android-based infotainment system with four years of data.
Operated using a nine-inch central touchscreen, it provides Google Maps with worldwide coverage, voice control, access to apps and smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay.
Other standard kit includes automatic LED headlights with Active High Beam, dual-zone climate control, wireless phone charging, a 12.3-inch driver’s info display, powered tailgate, rear parking sensors and 19-inch alloy wheels.
And our tested range-topper brought extra cabin comfort with power-adjustable and heated front seats, adaptive cruise control, a panoramic sunroof, 12-speaker Harman Kardon 600W sound system, 20-inch alloys and a 360-degree parking camera.
There’s also leather/nubuck upholstery, although Volvo has pledged that all its fully electric models will soon be completely leather-free as the company takes an ethical stand for animal welfare.
Using the Care by Volvo Fixed subscription the XC40 Recharge is available from £619 a month on a three-year term, while the Flexible option costs from £769 a month with a three-month rolling contract and initial 30-day trial period.
The monthly sub also includes scheduled servicing, wear and tear maintenance, vehicle tax, replacement tyres and roadside assistance, while insurance can also be factored in.
Volvo is also anticipating strong interest from business customers who will enjoy a one per cent benefit-in-kind rating for company car tax, meaning a higher rate taxpayer would fork out £16.63 a month.
- SPEC CHECK
- MAKE Volvo.
- MODEL XC40 Recharge Pure Electric.
- ENGINE Electric motor.
- POWER 408bhp.
- PERFORMANCE 0-62 in 4.9 secs, top speed 112mph.
- RANGE 256 miles.
- CO2 EMISSIONS 0g/km.
- PRICE £49,950-£56,700.