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Volvo XC40 Pro Fully Electric Review

Published on September 22nd, 2021 | by Thomas Kerrigan

Introduction

The newly released, fully electric Volvo XC40 Pro has arrived at the Agility Fleet office. With excitement circling, the sales team could not wait to get some hands-on experience with this new piece of automotive technology. I was so intrigued to know more that I was also given the opportunity to test it for an evening.

  • The model overview

    The new Volvo XC40 Electric fits under the “Recharge” sub-brand where all the Volvo fully electric and hybrid vehicles will now sit. Volvo’s CEO Hakån Samuelsson has promised that the entire Volvo range will be supplied with EV powertrains alone within the next 10 years, meaning these new electric models are a serious showcase of Volvo’s future. The XC40 has three variations beginning with the Recharge Twin (£49,950.00), then stepping up to the Recharge Twin Plus (£52,950) and then reaching the top specification of the Recharge Twin Pro (£56,700) All models come with the same twin motor battery powertrain, with a range of up to 256 miles, 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds and 408 horse power. The Agility team had the chance to drive the Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin Pro. This specific model boasts extra features such as a 360-degree parking camera, 20” Inch alloys and adaptive cruise control to name just a few.

  • The Teams Review

    Some of the best people to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of this vehicle with are the Agility Sales team. I sat down with Sean Dalton the Head of Agility Fleet Sales and members of his team Mike and Sue to get their take on the Volvo.

  • What we liked

    The first benefit echoed by everyone who drove the Volvo was the electric mileage range, as it proved to be accurate and consistent with advertised statements. The team mentioned that the advertised range for some fully electric vehicles can be inflated compared to what is achieved with real world driving, therefore inducing range anxiety. This was not the case with the Volvo XC40. Furthermore, the comfortable and smooth drive was a huge tick from the team in the XC40’s favour.

    Sean added the one pedal driving feature (which meant lifting off the accelerator would strongly engage the regenerative braking system to slow the car) was excellent for further seamless smooth driving. However, it was mentioned that this feature does require some bravery as it adds a new and strange element to the driving experience. I did personally use the one pedal driving and must agree with Sean’s statement of bravery, but after about 30 minutes of driving it was magnificent and in my opinion possibly the best feature of the vehicle. For myself it made driving totally effortless meaning you can enjoy every part of your journey.

    The exterior design of the vehicle was highly admired by most in the office and even the unusual colour of Sage Green left an unexpected positive impression on the Agility workforce. The design is sleek and easy to look at with no harsh sharp lines, it does have the same design as its non-electric XC40 counterpart apart from the change to a solid grille for the fully electric models.

    The all new Google integrated operating system was another feature that Sean believes Volvo have certainly got right with this new model. Sean currently runs a Volvo XC60 as a company car and likes that the new system allows the centre screen to be used fully for Google maps, previously only Volvos own navigation could be used with the full screen and Google maps was restricted to using only half the screen. The Google voice recognition system is also improved, being more sensitive and generally quicker.

  • What could be improved

    Both Mike and Sue did mention a drawback to the Volvo operating system, as the menus were very long winded, complicated and not easy to navigate. They often found it difficult to find what they were looking for. Feedback from our customers leads us to believe consumers want to make one or two screen taps to access their music, maps, phonebook and other software but with the Volvo it was more time consuming.

    Built into the operating system there was also the feature of mileage being displayed in a percentage format rather than total miles left. It can be seen why this has been done as we naturally represent battery with percentages, for example on our phones and laptops. It is also thought that this is to help reduce range anxiety, so it may not be a negative feature for all consumers but some may prefer to see the battery range in miles.

    Another area requiring improvement which was voiced by Sean and Mike, were the touch points of the interior. Both agreed that the touch points felt as though they were made from lower quality materials compared with competitor models from other manufacturers. For such a high end car it felt like the upgraded materials would not have been too much of a stretch. While on the topic of the interior the team spoke about how minimal the design was, which although believed to be the right direction, made it look a bit boring as the designers failed to fill the empty spaces with appealing subtleties. As an example, Mercedes-Benz have also moved towards minimalised interior design, but have used interior coloured lighting to keep the experience interesting with a high quality feel.

Conclusion

The Volvo XC40 has impressed the team at Agility overall and we believe it is a great step forward for fully electric vehicles, with some excellent features and a trustworthy mileage range. Fully electric cars like this have a good chance of converting non-electric vehicle lovers, especially when the car is offered by a company like Volvo who regularly produce excellent vehicles and are very committed to their electric vehicle future. The fully electric Volvo XC40 can be an excellent choice for both private consumers and company car drivers, provided an electric vehicle aligns with the end user’s lifestyle and charging requirements have been evaluated and understood.

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