Even though Volvo established Polestar as its dedicated electric vehicle brand, the Swedish automaker remains committed to introducing EVs of its own, the latest of which is the 2021 XC40 Recharge. Predictably based on Volvo’s XC40 subcompact luxury crossover, the Recharge ditches the standard model’s four-cylinder engine for a pair of electric motors that are fed by a 78-kWh battery pack.
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The good news is the powertrain’s 402 (!) horses enable the little SUV to rocket to 60 mph in a manufacturer-estimated 4.7 seconds—a full two seconds better than what we managed from a 248-hp XC40 T5. The bad news is the XC40 Recharge’s driving range barely breaks the 200-mile barrier.
Mind you, the Recharge’s 208-mile range estimate by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) means this EV should have no trouble meeting the needs of most consumers. Still, it’s hard to ignore the fact this likely more than $50,000 crossover loses the range wars to the likes of the $37,890 Chevrolet Bolt and the $38,365 Hyundai Kona Electric, both of which feature EPA-rated ranges of 259 and 258 miles, respectively. Meanwhile, the larger, $51,190 Tesla Model Y manages an EPA-estimated 316 miles on a full charge.
It is not only the XC40 Recharge’s range that’s left us wanting. The Volvo’s sedan cousin, the Polestar 2, recently received a middling 233-mile range rating from the EPA. Nevertheless, range is only a small part of EV ownership and the XC40 Recharge makes up for its comparatively limited driving range with the ability to recharge relatively quickly. In fact, Volvo claims the Recharge’s depleted battery pack will charge to 80 percent capacity in 40 minutes on a 150-kW DC fast charger, though regular use of fast chargers leads to battery pack degradation over time.
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