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Home > Gear > Motoring > Review: The Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric is a promising start to the future of fully electric cars
Review: The Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric is a promising start to the future of fully electric cars

A fine afternoon some time ago, we had the pleasure of taking the new Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric out for a spin to Janda Baik, Pahang and back, and here’s what we think of Volvo’s first model in a future of fully electric vehicles.

Last year, Volvo Cars announced its plan to only sell fully electric cars by 2030. This commitment to the brand’s sustainable values is a huge step forward for Volvo Cars, especially as one of the world’s premium electric car brands. Its approach is to phase out any cars in its line with internal combustion engines, including hybrids. With this in mind, Volvo Cars Malaysia recently embarked on an ambitious electrification journey with its official launch of the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric, the company’s first pure electric vehicle (EV).

The XC40 Recharge Pure Electric is Volvo’s first pure electric vehicle, without an internal combustion engine.

The launch of the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric marks a milestone for Volvo Cars Malaysia as it becomes the first luxury car brand in the country to locally assemble EVs. Thus with its capabilities to assemble pure EVs through its own local assembly plant, Volvo Cars Malaysia aims to export fully electric vehicles to markets within ASEAN in the near future.

Similar in build to its hybrid counterpart, the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric is a sleek and stylish compact SUV — a standard four-wheel drive that’s bold and expressive in its own way. The major difference of the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric compared to its variants is its lightweight body; with the absence of an internal combustion engine, driving the car too fast almost feels like flying.

It was apt, then, to have the drive up to Janda Baik in order to put the car through the works. Known for its long, windy roads and uphill paths, it was the perfect scenario to put the Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric to the real test. Thankfully, it remained sunny throughout the drive, but with its built-in safety assistance equipped, there’s no doubt that the journey would have gone smoothly either way. The XC40 Recharge Pure Electric boasts a very superior safety assistance system with IntelliSafe, where the safety features ‘Collision Avoidance & Mitigation’ and ‘Run-Off Road Mitigation with Road Edge Detection’ come in handy on the busy highways, especially when cars tend to veer off their lanes as they speed.

The XC40 Recharge Pure Electric boasts a superior safety assistance system with IntelliSafe.

What really astonished us about the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric is its one-pedal drive system. Admittedly, it took some getting used to at first, but we found that it made for a much smoother drive. Using one pedal to both accelerate and decelerate (to a stop) allowed the car to be controlled more easily — after a bit of practice, we managed to find the rhythm and it was pretty much straight sailing all the way.

As a fully electric car, the Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric runs on the impressive strength of a high-voltage battery and twin electric motors, with zero tailpipe emission. On a single charge at 100%, the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric can take you an estimate of 418km (not taking into account your driving style as well as other circumstances, including outdoor temperature, weather, wind, topography and roads) — which is approximately a one-way trip from Petaling Jaya, Selangor to Penang Island, or a round trip to from Petaling Jaya, Selangor to Kuantan, Pahang.

The XC40 Recharge Pure Electric also comes with hands-free voice control enabled by Google Assistant, as well as a fully-integrated Google Maps. Say goodbye to buttons and the touch screen — just your voice will do. During the drive up to Janda Baik, we made a few stops along the way and went through a couple of route adjustments, and so we found this feature particularly helpful when making some last-minute direction changes.

Where the electric car lacks an internal combustion engine, it makes full use of storage space. The roomy back interior of the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric can comfortably accommodate you, while underneath the bonnet in the front of the car you’ll find more space to store just about anything, from water bottles, gym bags, laptops, take-away food or even your charging cables.

The absence of the engine also means a completely quiet drive. This was also something that took some getting used to in the beginning, as we have been so used to listening for the engine revving up as we hit the pedal, but it certainly made for a peaceful, worry-free drive. All we needed to pay attention to was the battery level. It took approximately 50% of the battery charge for a round trip to Janda Baik, which feels very reassuring for longer drives.

All in all, the Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric proves itself a sustainable powertrain that provides a supremely inspiring and refined drive. With the latest technological innovations, the global ambitions of Volvo Cars to become a fully-electric car company by 2030 might just be achievable.

The Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric is now available at a hassle-free price of RM262,459.75. To find out more, submit an order request online on the company’s official website.

Puteri Yasmin Suraya
Brand and Partnerships Writer
As a literature buff, Yasmin has a deep love for fiction and poetry. When she’s not writing or café-hopping, she enjoys binge-watching period romances, (badly) belting out show tunes, and curating Spotify playlists to match her mood for the week.
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