Volvo revamps electric C40 and XC40 powertrains

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Volvo has brought a raft of updates to the all-electric C40 and XC40, including the introduction of rear-wheel-drive only variants, powered by in-house-developed permanent magnet motors, a first for the Swedish manufacturer.

“These updates are another big step in our work toward becoming a fully electric car maker by 2030,” said Javier Varela, Volvo’s COO. “Range and charging times are new key factors for more and more of our customers, and these improvements make our fully electric models even more attractive than they already were.”

Starting with the two new rear-wheel-drive powertrain options, the single motor option with standard range is driven by a 175kW permanent magnet electric motor, which the company says provides a 3% increase in power output over the outgoing 170kW single-motor front-wheel-drive variant.

In the XC40 Recharge single motor, the same 69kWh battery capacity is carried over, but enhancements in cooling efficiency are stated to deliver increased range up to 286 miles (461km) according to the WLTP test cycle, compared with 264 miles (425km) before (WLTP). The range of the C40 Recharge single motor, meanwhile, has been improved up to 296 miles (476km) from 272 miles (438km) (WLTP).

For those looking for greater power, a larger battery coupled with a more powerful 185kW permanent magnet e-motor on the rear axle can be specified. This second new variant comes with an 82kWh battery pack, which takes range up to 320 miles (515km) for the XC40 Recharge single motor extended range and up to 331 miles (533km) (WLTP) for the C40 Recharge single motor extended range.

The all-wheel-drive variants also benefit from these updates. The previous set-up of two 150kW e-motors on the front and rear axles has been replaced by Volvo’s in-house-developed 183kW permanent magnet e-motor on the rear axle and a new 117kW asynchronous electric motor on the front axle. Volvo states that this new configuration, paired with an 82kWh battery pack and overall efficiency improvements in battery cooling, means the XC40 Recharge Twin Motor AWD can now drive up to 311 miles (500km) on a single charge, a 39-mile (62km) boost over the previous iteration.

Finally, Volvo’s PHEV variants of the C40 and XC40 have received new onboard chargers, capable of charging at 6.4kW, double the previous rate.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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