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2022 Volvo C40 Recharge revealed: Volvo takes aim at Tesla's Model 3 with its first dedicated EV

The C40 references its C30 hatchback ancestor but points to the future of the brand.

Volvo has unveiled its first dedicated EV, the C40 Recharge, as well as detailed its plan to be climate neutral by 2040.

The new C40 Recharge is similar in size and even shape to the XC40 small SUV, but has a lower profile, more like a large hatchback. Despite that, the Swedish brand says its new EV maintains a “high seating position that most Volvo drivers prefer”. The new EV’s name carries on from the Volvo C30 hatchback which was discontinued globally in 2013.

While its rear profile carries several hints to the C30, the C40 Recharge possesses a new face and iterates on the Swedish brand’s current design language, said to be the first in a range of EVs that will launch under the Recharge umbrella soon.

Volvo will be able to take aim at Tesla's model 3 and Y with the new C40 Recharge and soon-to-launch XC40 recharge respectively. Volvo will be able to take aim at Tesla's model 3 and Y with the new C40 Recharge and soon-to-launch XC40 recharge respectively.

Like Tesla’s Model 3, the C40 Recharge will be all-wheel drive via two motor-driven axles, and it will also possess an estimated range of 420km (WLTP) from a massive 78kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Volvo even predicts it will be able to make range improvements in the future via over-the-air software updates as more is learned about the car.

The C40 Recharge can be charged from 10 – 80 per cent in just 40 minutes at high-speed DC locations, and also emulating Tesla, will be fully interconnected with unlimited sim data.

On the inside, the C40 evolves the brand’s current portrait multimedia screen design and has a new software suite based on android with fully integrated Google services. While on the outside the C40 will possess a new “pixel LED” headlight system.

As part of Volvo’s promise to be fully climate neutral by 2040, the C40 and all of its future Recharge models will be free of any kind of animal leather. The brand is also employing blockchain technology to trace where its battery partners source cobalt from to ensure the controversial but essential material is ethically extracted.

The C40 Recharge is not only the brand’s first dedicated EV nameplate, but it is also the first Volvo which will be exclusively sold online.

The brand said it will continue to work with “retail partners” which it seems may include dealers who will “be responsible for a variety of important services, such as selling, preparing, delivering, and servicing cars.” Volvos will ultimately only be ordered online, however, and will come with a fixed price, pre-set configurations, and a “care package” which includes service, warranty, roadside assistance, as well as the possibility of insurance and home charging.

The C40 Reharge will have interconnected Google services and come with "unlimited data". The C40 Reharge will have interconnected Google services and come with "unlimited data".

The C40 will be bult alongside the XC40 and resides on the same CMA underpinnings. Volvo says production of the EV will begin around September of 2021. It is too far out to speculate on an arrival date for Australian consumers but expect demand to largely be taken up by the European market at its eventual launch.

The first fully electrified Recharge model to be available Down Under will be this car’s XC40 small SUV sibling, the EV version of which (not to be confused with the plug-in hybrid) is due to arrive in June.