Volvo Malaysia has officially announced the Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric and Volvo C40 Recharge Pure Electric for our local market. These Volvo electric vehicles (EV) are the first of their kind to be locally assembled (CKD) in Malaysia. That means, on top of the import and excise duties, and road tax exemption, it also qualifies for the full sales tax exemption according to Budget 2022.
However, Volvo Malaysia has decided to keep the pricing of the EVs under wraps until the 4th of April 2022. For reference, the current range-topping Volvo XC40 Recharge T5 R-Design plug-in hybrid is priced at RM241,997 with sales tax exemption. Based on that, we think that the EV version could be priced somewhere between the Hyundai Ioniq 5 Plus (RM229,888) and Mercedes-Benz EQA 250 AMG Line (RM278,201).
Interested customers can book a test drive through volvocars.com/my or at any authorised dealers. Delivery is expected to begin towards the end of April 2022.
But these new EVs are just the beginning of Volvo’s electrified vision here in Malaysia. From 2022, Malaysia will also see the launch of one new EV from Volvo every year. By 2025, Volvo Malaysia aims to electrify 75% of its vehicle line-up and subsequently become a fully electric company by 2030.
Volvo also plans to make Malaysia a regional hub for their EVs. Starting with the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric and C40 Recharge Pure Electric, the company plans to export their EVs from Malaysia into other ASEAN markets. It looks like Volvo beat our national carmakers in offering a locally assembled EV first. Proton is planning to sell EVs manufactured by Smart in China while Perodua has yet to reveal its EV roadmap.
Not just an electrified petrol car
The Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric and C40 Recharge Pure Electric are built on Geely and Volvo’s Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform, which was designed from the ground up to accommodate both an internal combustion engine and an electrical powertrain. This allowed Volvo to fit bigger batteries and incorporate multiple electric motors into the drivetrain.
So, both models get a 78kWh battery pack paired to dual motors, powering all four wheels (AWD). This allows for an impressive output of 408hp (~402 bhp) and 660Nm of torque, especially if we’re comparing it with the aforementioned Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Mercedes EQA. These figures help the cars to accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in 4.9 seconds and onwards to a limited top speed of 180 km/h.
Topping up the battery is relatively quick as both models support up to 150kW DC fast charging. This means it only takes about 40 minutes to charge up to 80%. Now, it’s not quite as fast as the Ioniq 5’s 350kW DC fast charging, but it is a touch quicker than the Mercedes EQA’s 100kW DC fast charging. Using an 11kW AC wall box charger, expect to wait for around seven and a half hours to fully charge your Volvo. The carmaker claims you can get about 418km of range as tested on the WLTP cycle.
Easy on the eyes
Design-wise, the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric looks like the XC40 Recharge T5 R-Design plug-in hybrid. To the untrained eye, these cars will look similar, but there is one major difference. The front grill is enclosed because there is no engine to cool. In place of the engine, Volvo has given 31 litres of cargo space upfront. You can expect a full LED lighting system with the familiar Thor’s hammer LED daytime running lights.
Moving around to the side, it gets a model-specific 19’ rims. At the back, the powered tailgate with hands-free function opens to reveal 413 litres of boot space.
On the other hand, the Volvo C40 Recharge Pure Electric is essentially the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric, but with a sloping rear roof, giving it a coupe body style. Combined with its larger 20″ rims, it is sportier and sleeker-looking compared to the utilitarian design of the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric and I definitely prefer it.
A bit boring on the inside
Stepping inside the cabin, it yet again resembles the XC40 Recharge T5 plug-in hybrid—but this time, that’s not such a good thing. Compared to the futuristic-looking interior of something like the Hyundai Ioniq 5, the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric comes off as a little plain. Even the Mercedes EQA has a more eye-catching interior.
Infotainment is handled by a portrait-style display running on Android Automotive OS. For those who are unfamiliar, this OS offers a standalone Android OS experience on your car’s infotainment system, unlike Android Auto which requires a wired or wireless connection to an Android phone. Simply sign in to your Google account and it will sync automatically. In front of the driver, sits a 12.3” digital instrument cluster with a user-configurable layout. A wireless charger is available for conveniently charging your smartphone.
Helping to create a more open atmosphere in the cabin, is the addition of a panoramic sunroof. Other standard equipment includes dual-zone climate control, an air purifier system, a 14-speaker Harmon Kardon sound system, and paddle shifters to control brake regeneration. It also looks like the Malaysian market will be getting the black interior colour scheme. I personally prefer the white one, but this is more of a personal preference.
In keeping with Volvo’s eco-conscious goals, the materials used throughout the cabin are also sourced from recycled and sustainable materials. For example, the carpets are made entirely from recycled plastic.
One of the safest vehicles on the road
Volvo has always prided itself on being a safety-first automotive manufacturer. As such, both the Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric and C40 Recharge Pure Electric will come equipped with Volvo’s suite of driver assistance systems called Volvo Pilot Assist.
The list is long, and it includes items like adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go function, autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian, cyclist and animal detection, rear cross-traffic alert with auto braking, lead car departure alert, park assist, and a 360-degree surround-view camera. And all of this is on top of the typical suspects of lane keeping assist, lane centering assist and blindspot monitoring.
Volvo’s new EVs are an interesting proposition. However, I’m not sure that I would pick it over the Hyundai Ioniq 5 because I think that car has just a little bit more character and pizzazz than either Volvo offering. That said, I do think it’s a better value than the Mercedes EQA since it is as well equipped, but edges it out in terms of performance.
What do you think of Volvo’s new XC40 Recharge Pure Electric and C40 Recharge Pure Electric? Let me know in the comments below.