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Volvo XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge Models

New powertrains, longer range and faster charging speeds characterise revised fully electric Volvo XC40 and C40 models


The fully electric Volvo XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge have received their biggest updates yet for the latest 2024 model year.

Headlining the updates are faster charging speeds and enhanced certified range figures when compared with the outgoing versions of these two fully electric Volvo models. In the case of the revised all-wheel-drive (AWD) Twin Motor variants of both XC40 and C40 Recharge models, certified range has increased by 100km to 538km and 550km respectively (WLTP Combined cycle).

Here too, charging power has improved as the larger battery pack allows for charging at a higher maximum rate of 205kW DC (previously 150kW DC maximum). The 82kWh battery pack found in the Single Motor Extended Range and Twin Motor models benefits from a 5% increase in power density. This also enables these variants of the XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge to receive more energy in the same amount of time as before on a DC fast charger– meaning approximately 28mins charging from 10-80%.

Another first for Volvo Cars is the introduction of an in-house-developed second-generation permanent magnet electric motor. The new electric motor was designed and developed from scratch at Volvo’s research and development centre in Gothenburg with the aim of creating a power unit that is engineered to the brand’s exacting specifications.

The updates extend beyond the electric motor itself because the XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge change drive axles in the Single Motor variants from front-wheel drive (FWD) to rear-wheel drive (RWD) – the first Volvo in 25 years to have this type of driveline layout. In total, three new powertrains are offered that include a new AWD variant along with two RWD variants in standard range and extended range.

“The XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge are core models for our brand and have successfully help build our line-up of fully electric products,” said Javier Varela, Volvo Cars chief operating officer and deputy chief executive. “The latest updates represent a major step forward in terms of the engineering, efficiency and performance of these models. Consequently, this enhances the competitiveness and customer appeal considering range, charging times and charging speeds are still top-of-mind for customers when it comes to making the switch to electric.”

A new 19-inch alloy wheel for both the XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge not only boosts the overall look of the car, but it also helps to reduce drag through its aerodynamic design.


Battery capacity

Range (WLTP)

C40 Recharge Single Motor



C40 Recharge Twin Motor



C40 Recharge Single Motor Extended Range






XC40 Recharge Single Motor



XC40 Recharge Twin Motor



XC40 Recharge Single Motor Extended Range




The fine print

  • Range according to the realistic WLTP driving cycle under controlled conditions of a new car. The actual range may vary. The driving range and energy consumption under real conditions vary depending on driving behaviour and other external factors. Charging times can vary and are dependent on factors such as outdoor temperature, battery temperature, charging equipment, battery condition and car condition.


Designing and developing in-house: Volvo Cars’ first electric motor

With development beginning in 2018, Volvo Cars embarked on designing and developing a proprietary electric motor that now powers the fully electric versions of XC40 and C40. The new XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge come with three powertrain options, namely: a rear-wheel-driven Single Motor, Single Motor Extended Range and Twin Motor all-wheel drive.


The mission was to develop an update of existing drivetrains for the XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge that would help contribute to increased range through overall efficiency. Furthermore, this second-generation electric motor would be destined to power the rear axles of these products. Fast-forward to today and Volvo Cars’ engineers have achieved their goal to create a new permanent magnet e-motor from scratch that delivers enhancements in efficiency in both AWD and RWD layouts for the brand.


“There is a distinct advantage for Volvo Cars to develop key components such as the e-motor in-house versus buying a unit from a supplier as it allows you to control and optimise all aspects of the system exactly as you need too,” says Johan Andersson, Product Manager, Electric Drive Hardware at Volvo Cars. “In addition, the new powertrain layout meant we could optimise power delivery for the new rear-wheel driven design through our own software controls.”


The Single Motor variants are powered by a 175kW (238hp) permanent magnet synchronous motor while the extended range models get a higher-powered 185kW (252hp) version of Volvo Cars’ own electric motor. Maximum torque for both versions is 420Nm (310lb-ft).


With Twin Motor models, the biggest change is not only the uprating of the rear axle motor but also with the front axle motor where a new asynchronous electric motor works in combination to help deliver the increased efficiency - and therefore better overall range - than before.

With XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge AWD, the rear-mounted electric motor delivers 190kW (258hp) and 420Nm (310lb-ft), while the front-mounted asynchronous motor adds a further 110kW (150hp) and 250Nm (184lb-ft) to the overall 300kW (408hp) power output figure.

Andersson adds: “Unlike a permanent magnet e-motor, asynchronous e-motors do not require a constant electrical charge. This means that in our application, we are still able to deliver the same acceleration as before, however now with the added benefit of conserving energy in normal driving conditions or at highway speeds. This is because the front axle magnet-free e-motor is not in use and not drawing power from the battery.

“Another main reason for to engineer Volvo Cars’ fully electric XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge with rear-wheel drive is the architecture allows us to increase the power output of the e-motor driving the rear axle. There are limits to how much power can get transferred through the front wheels while also needing them to steer at the same time. By moving the higher output motor to the rear, the car can deliver the desired traction in a controlled way. Modulating the power delivery too – because we’ve developed in-house – gives us the chance to engineer the powertrain with more flexibility but also more precisely.”

The in-house-developed e-motor has higher torque and power density than the unit it is replacing.- As such, the new front axle asynchronous e-motor is 18kg lighter than the earlier front-axle permanent magnet used in cars prior to the 2024 model year variants.


Bringing the engineering of the e-motor in-house for our fully electric XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge is further defined by the fact that these key components will be manufactured in Skövde, Sweden.

Faster charging speeds, longer range

Take the two new real-wheel drive powertrains first. It is powered by a 175kW e-motor on the rear axle, which delivers a three per cent increase in power output over the 170kW front-wheel drive variant.


In combination with a more efficient 69kWh battery pack, this also means the XC40 Recharge can now drive up to 461 kilometres, compared to 425 kilometres before on the WLTP combined cycle. The range of the identical layout in C40 Recharge results in an improvement in range from 438km to 477km (WLTP combined). Maximum charging speeds on the 69kWh single-motor RWD models stay unchanged at 130kW DC.


Moving up to the Single Motor Extended Range models, customers can opt for a larger 82kWh battery coupled with a more powerful, 185kW permanent magnet e-motor on the rear axle. This second new variant boosts range up to 573 kilometres (WLTP combined) for the XC40 Recharge Single Motor Extended Range and up to 581km (WLTP combined) for the C40 Recharge Single Motor Extended Range.


The Twin Motor variants also benefit from these updates, realising even more impressive range improvements. The previous set-up of two permanent magnet 150kW e-motors on the front and rear axles, gives way to a 190kW/420Nm e-motor on the rear axle and a 110kW/250Nm e-motor driving the front axle for a combined output of 300kW/620Nm.


This new configuration, paired with an 82 kWh battery pack and efficiency improvements means the XC40 Recharge can now drive 538 kilometres (WLTP combine) on a single charge, a 100km boost in certified range versus the previous iteration. The range of the C40 Recharge AWD has improved by the same margin from 450km (WLTP combined) to 550km (WLTP combined).


Here too, charging power has improved as the more energy-dense battery pack allows for charging at an updated top rate of 205kW DC (previously 150kW DC maximum), while a 10-80 per cent charge takes approximately 28 minutes.


The upgraded silicon carbide invertor is also a key component in contributing to the vehicle’s overall efficiency. These devices produce less heat, operating at higher current densities when compared with previously used silicon invertors by efficiently converting direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC) for powering the electric motor during driving.


Chassis and driving dynamics

The last Volvo Car model to have rear-wheel-drive was the 940, the last example rolled off the Torslanda production line on 5 February 1998. Today, an exclusively rear- wheel-driven Volvo Car model returns in the form of the XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge.

With the introduction of the fully electric XC40 Recharge in 2019 and a new battery electric architecture for the brand, the packaging prerequisites have changed dramatically when compared with an internal combustion engine model. The Volvo electric platform provides a provides a low center of gravity and optimal weight balance between front and rear axle.

“Changing from front-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive was a natural decision to take with our fully electric XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge,” says, Erik Joelsson, Product Owner Road NVH and Vehicle Dynamics. “In these battery electric cars, the weight distribution is close to 50/50 and the battery is placed low, providing a lower centre of gravity that is best for vehicle dynamics. The advanced ESC system in combination with the accurate control of the electric motors provides the safe and confident driving experience that is in the DNA for all Volvo products.”

“The rear-wheel-drive XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge are enjoyable to drive, both on high-grip and low-grip surfaces. In the beginning of the development programme, it was important to ensure that we can achieve the Volvo DNA and find the sweet spot in the tuning to get the right mix of comfort combined with agility that still connects with the driver.”

By using the rear wheels to propel the car, it becomes more dynamic and agile to drive compared to front-wheel drive. The car steers sharper into the curves giving an agile and a responsive drive. The rear-wheel drive also improves traction, making for faster acceleration and excellent towing characteristics.

“Rear-wheel drive provides a more dynamic and agile driving experience compared to front-wheel drive as the vehicle steers with more precision into corners and is easier to position.“

Joelsson concludes: “The new XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge enhances the Volvo DNA. Every Volvo car is predictable, controllable, and comfortable in any road and/or load condition, resulting in a confident driving experience.”


Safety. An active part of any Volvo car

Every aspect of the performance of a Volvo car is engineered to deliver Volvo Cars’ highest achievable level of safety, independent of whether it uses front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The technical design of an electric car with a large battery and lighter powertrain components (compared with an ICE car) allows for a low centre of gravity and well-balanced weight distribution.

“Today’s modern active safety systems have advanced at a tremendous rate. In 1998 when Volvo stopped manufacturing a rear-wheel drive model, there were no active safety systems like Electronic Stability Control (ESC) as we have today”, says Thomas Broberg, Technical Leader, Safety Interfaces at Volvo Cars.

“In principle, there are similarities in the TCS [traction control] function between FWD and RWD XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge respectively, however, our teams have worked to optimise the new traction characteristics since the driving force comes from the rear axle. How quickly torque is reduced when slip is detected in practice is affected by the delay between the braking system and how quickly it is activated to curb a potential loss of control or wheelspin.”

The high torque of an electric motor at the front axle (front-wheel drive) coupled with steering inputs does mean torque steer is more prevalent under higher loads. Therefore, separating the drive from the steering by applying rear-wheel drive is particularly beneficial in perfecting the driving experience in a two-wheel-drive electric car.




Volvo Cars in 2021
Volvo Car Group recorded an operating profit of 20.3 BSEK. Revenue in 2021 amounted to 282.0 BSEK, while global sales reached 698,700 cars.


About Volvo Car Group
Volvo Cars was founded in 1927. Today, it is one of the most well-known and respected car brands in the world with sales to customers in more than 100 countries. Volvo Cars is listed on the Nasdaq Stockholm exchange, where it is traded under the ticker “VOLCAR B”.


Volvo Cars aims to provide customers with the Freedom to Move in a personal, sustainable and safe way. This is reflected in its ambition to become a fully electric car maker by 2030 and in its commitment to an ongoing reduction of its carbon footprint, with the ambition to be a climate-neutral company by 2040.


As of December 2021, Volvo Cars employed approximately 41,000 full-time employees. Volvo Cars' head office, product development, marketing and administration functions are mainly located in Gothenburg, Sweden. Volvo Cars' production plants are located in Gothenburg, Ghent (Belgium), South Carolina (US), Chengdu, Daqing and Taizhou (China). The company also has R&D and design centres in Gothenburg, Camarillo (US) and Shanghai (China).


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