I am not going to even lie about it, I am not a fan of Electric Vehicles (EVs) here in South Africa. We just do not have the infrastructure for it and unless you have the right set up at home, it’s a nightmare. Now look, most people who buy an EV will certainly have the charger at home…most EVs sold in SA come with a complimentary charger of sorts. And most people would have an internal combustion engine (ICE) car on hand for road trips. You see, then an EV makes sense to me. And never has an EV made more sense to me than Volvo’s new C40 Recharge. I am a little bit in love.
I adore the design. I cannot describe how good it looks on the road. From the front and the rear. Volvo has done an excellent job in taking the XC40 (a firm favourite of mine) and adding a very sporty appeal to it. The sloping roofline unfortunately means you lose rear headroom, but if it is only the kiddiewinks going in the back, then you shouldn’t have too many issues.
The cabin is also just so impressive in more ways than none. Not only is it all kinds of modern, tranquil and elegant, but this C40 Recharge is also the first Volvo to be completely leather-free. I am not a huge fan of leather as it is, so this makes me very happy. But for the earth lovers out there, you’ll be even happier to know that it boasts sustainable upholsteries such as renewable wool fibres or a combination of suede textile made from recycled plastics and a special micro-tech material.
I don’t know if I would opt for the signature colour, which is Fjord Blue, not only because I just adore it in black, but because that blue extends in to the cabin with blue carpets and I am not sure I love them. It is inspired by the deep inlets on the Scandinavian west coast, so there’s that. Another inspiration is that of the Abisko National park in Sweden which has been topographically copied and this translucent pattern is on the door panels with back lighting. It looks quite sensational.
The car’s infotainment system is powered by Google which makes life super easy. I am a Google gal. I use all of Google’s apps and so it is seamless to utilise the tech in the C40 Recharge.
When it comes to power, there are two electric motors, one on each axle, equipped with a 78 kWh battery. Performance numbers are an impressive 300 kW and 660 Nm. And you can feel it. Put your foot down and thanks to that instant torque you are thrown back in your seat. Overtaking is a real doddle. And if it is range anxiety you suffer from, never fear, because the C40 Recharge has a range of 444 km. And the all-wheel drive system will ensure even better safety measures.
A weird, yet pretty wonderful thing, is that there is no start button! You merely get into the car and select Drive or Reverse and the car starts to move. It feels quite bizarre.
As with all the EVs in SA, it does not come cheap at R1 285 000. But if I had the money, the space and the extra ICE car, this would 100% go into my garage. I adore it!