Volvo has started production of the C40 Recharge at its plant in Ghent, Belgium. Importantly, it is the first Volvo model to be offered exclusively with electric drive.
Introduced in March 2021, the C40 Recharge is marketed by Volvo as a standalone model, but is in effect the SUV coupe to the XC40 Recharge – albeit with minor visual changes beyond the flatter rear end. The XC40 Recharge, the all-electric version of Volvo’s compact SUV model, is also built in Ghent.
The Belgian plant is one of Volvo’s largest locations. As well as the all-electric C40 Recharge, the XC40 models (BEV, PHEV and combustion engine) – which are also based on the CMA platform – are built there, plus the V60 estate, which is based on the larger SPA platform.
While Volvo offers the XC40 Recharge in a front-wheel-drive version, the C40 Recharge is only available with the familiar all-wheel drive at market launch. An 150 kW electric motor on both the front and rear axles brings the C40 to a system output of 300 kW. The electricity is stored in a 78 kWh battery (gross, 75 kWh net). The standard range is said to be more than 270 miles.
As Volvo is known to want to become an all-electric brand by 2030, production will also be adjusted. In the wake of the model launch of the C40 Recharge, Volvo is increasing its production capacity for electric vehicles in Ghent to 135,000 units per year – the company expects more than half of all vehicles produced at the site to have an all-electric powertrain as early as 2022. Volvo also set up a battery assembly plant in Ghent to combine purchased modules into ready-to-install packs.
“The C40 Recharge is a car that represents our future,” said Javier Varela, Senior Vice President, Industrial Operations and Quality at Volvo Cars.
“Our manufacturing operations and a close collaboration with our suppliers are key in achieving our future ambitions in terms of electrification and climate neutrality.”