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Volvo C40 Recharge Review: A Glimpse into Volvo’s Electrified Future

Whoever thought that Volvos were boring, think again.
Ronald Chua
Ronald Chua
05 Dec 2022
The Volvo C40 Recharge was designed to be a pure electric model...
What we like:
Refreshing & sleek design
Vault-like solidity
Interior design & comfort
What we dislike:
Upright rear seats
Front trunk space is hard to access

Sustainability and eco friendliness are the latest trends. People are increasingly conscious of their carbon footprint and how their actions impact the environment and the world we live in. Similarly, car manufacturers have also been focusing on reducing the carbon footprint of each car.

Volvo had announced that they plan to be fully electric by 2030. This ambition would mean that every car it sells in 2030 would be fully electric and to achieve that target, 50 per cent of its global sales would have to consist of fully electric cars by 2025.

The Volvo C40 Recharge was designed to be a pure electric model with no petrol or hybrid powertrain options. It was made to achieve sustainable mobility and emission-free driving.

From the front, the C40 Recharge is immediately recognisable as a Volvo. It features the Thor-hammer headlight design that is found across all Volvo models. The headlights now feature state-of-the-art pixel technology that integrate 84 Pixel LEDs that provide adaptive lighting that is brighter with reduced glare for other road users.

Without an engine, there is no need for air vents or slats, and it creates a very clean front-end design.

The rear design is futuristic, and it is definitely something bold from the design team at Volvo. The C40 Recharge has a coupe-SUV body style and the roofline slopes steeply to the rear to provide a sleek and striking profile. The taillights are eye catching and I like how the designers have integrated different line elements to create something special. When the door locks are activated, the taillights illuminate like an advanced line tracing exercise!

To each its own, but the C40 Recharge is my favourite coupe-SUV design, and especially so when viewed from its side profile. The car looks unique and muscular in this shade of Fjord Blue and 20-inch 5-spoke Black Diamond Cut alloy wheels.

Step inside and its quite a typical Volvo affair. There is nothing overly futuristic here which may put people off when they hear the word ‘electric’. Instead, one gets a clean Scandinavian designed interior that is easy to operate and navigate.

The main dashboard is occupied by a 9-inch iPad-style infotainment system that is like those found in other Volvo models. The 13-speaker, 600W Harman Kardon sound system is worthy of praise and I think it is one of the best sound systems that would make audiophiles smile.

There are also some interesting features such as the topography-map inspired dashboard and door inserts which are back-lit at night. Small touches, but it reflects the attention to detail that Volvo designers have put into this car.

To reduce environmental impact, the interior is completely leather-free and a premium microtech leather-like fabric is used. The carpets are also made using partially recycled materials.

Here’s where things get slightly interesting – climb into the driver’s seat and the car starts itself. A weight sensor in the seat replaces a traditional key (or start button). Put the car in Drive, and go. Put the car in Park at the end of the journey and the parking brake automatically engages. Step out of the car and lock the door and be on your way. It’s that easy.

As with all electric cars, they tend to produce instantaneous power. In the C40 Recharge, there are two electric motors (front & rear) that deliver a combined 408 hp and 660 Nm to bring the car to 100 in 4.7s. The lack of any noise or drama makes the car feel even faster.

Drive the car sensibly (with less full throttle starts) and it will return a range of at least 350km to 400km per charge. Plug it into any DC 50kW charging port powered by Singapore Power or Shell and the car will be fully charged in 68 minutes. That is just about enough time to grab a bite and some groceries at the supermarket.

I just have one gripe – the front trunk space cannot be accessed via remote and the process is no different from popping the hood to access a traditional engine bay. Why would anyone use it then?

The Volvo C40 Recharge retains many virtues that define a Volvo – quality, solidity, practicality, and safety. Yet, Volvo has designed and built the C40 Recharge in such a refreshing manner that befits its modern-age electrified mantra. It is definitely a glimpse into Volvo’s electrified future.


The Volvo C40 Recharge is a premium product that is modern and futuristic and it eases new adopters into the world of electrified drivetrains.

Photos by Horizon Drivers' Club

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