The Volvo XC40 Recharge Plug-In Hybrid SUV: The Complete Guide For Ireland

Volvo XC40 Recharge electric plug-in hybrid
Price: N/A
Type of electric vehicle: Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Body type: SUV
Battery size: 10.7 kWh
Electric range (WLTP): 46 km
Tailpipe emissions: 49g - 47g (CO2/km)

Electric Cars: The Basics

For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:

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The All-Electric Volvo XC40 Recharge

Sweden has created its fair share of global brands, but none with a reputation as good as Volvo Cars, when it comes to passenger safety. Volvo cars is an automotive manufacturer based in Gothenburg, Sweden. The Volvo Group has a long history of success and was established in 1927. Since then the company has had multiple owners, to include the US based, Ford Motor Company. Its current owner is a Chinese automotive behemoth, Geely Automobile, which acquired Volvo Cars in 2010. Geely also owns the automotive brands Lotus Cars and Polestar. 

The automotive manufacturer has an ambition to achieve 50% sales from pure electric cars and the remaining 50% from plug-in hybrid electric cars by 2025. The company is also committed to becoming ‘climate neutral’ across the value chain by 2040. The Volvo electric vehicle (EV) current portfolio includes:

The Volvo XC40 conventional petrol and diesel variant has been available since 2017. The original XC40 SUV was awarded the prestigious Car of The Year accolade by WhatCar? in 2018. 

The Volvo PHEV SUV is worth consideration for families already familiar with the advantages of owning and driving a Volvo car i.e. a fantastic reputation for safety and quality. Of course, the Recharge PHEV further enhances this enviable reputation, given the environment-friendly nature of lower emission plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). 

The Volvo plug-in hybrid has a 10.7 kWh onboard EV battery, with a WLTP certified pure electric range up to 46 km. Not the most impressive electric range, but quite typical of many PHEVs in this segment. 

The real-world EV range will be lower, possibly closer to 35 km (emission-free). Many factors influence the real-world range, to include: driving style, temperature, elevation, wind, rain, road surface, tyres, onboard services used etc. However, the EV still has much to offer those keen to save money by driving on pure electric mode.

Depending on where the EV is charged and the cost of charging, driving an electric car will cost between 5 cents and 10 cents per km i.e. far cheaper compared to calling on the internal combustion engine (ICE). A 35 km EV range can be leveraged for city driving and shorter commutes i.e. school-run, high street, grocery shopping and even commuting to work. 

Taking advantage of the EV range will also require inculcating a habit of charging the EV on a regular basis, which again is as easy as charging a smartphone. We at e-zoomed discourage the use of a domestic 3-PIN plug for charging an electric car. 

A ‘topping up’ approach to charging will help improve the overall efficiency of the electric vehicle and also improve the long-term maintenance of the onboard EV battery. Volvo offers a 8 years or 160,000 km warranty. The PHEV has a 3.6 kW onboard charger and can be fully charged in 3 hours. The PHEV is not capable of DC charging, which is disappointing, given the more premium badge and price tag. Having said that, most plug-in hybrid electric cars are not DC charging compatible. 

Of course, driving regularly on the electric mode will further improve the fuel economy of the vehicle i.e. lower motoring costs. The automotive manufacturer claims a fuel economy up to 2.3 l/100km, but achieving anything close to this, will require taking advantage of the e-mode! In any case, the PHEV will deliver a better fuel economy, compared to the conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) variant. 

The EV has three driving modes: pure electric, hybrid and power. To achieve maximum vehicle efficiency, we recommend using the pure electric and hybrid mode, as often as possible. Moreover, the pure electric mode offers a more refined and quieter drive. 

The performance of the front-wheel drive Volvo XC40 plug-in electric is decent. The electric vehicle (EV) combines a 1.5-litre (three-cylinder) petrol engine with an onboard electric motor, powered by the EV battery. The T5 plug-in hybrid can achieve 0-100 km/h in 7.3 seconds (262 hp/ 425 Nm). The T4 plug-in hybrid can achieve 0-100 km/h in 8.5 seconds (211 hp/ 405 Nm). Both variants deliver a 180 km/h top speed. 

The interior cabin is spacious and practical, though the boot space is compromised due to the placement of the onboard EV battery (452 L), but remains useful! The EV offers a host of safety features and technology, to include: 360° parking view, cross traffic alert, blind spot information system, advanced air purifier (prevents up to 80 per cent of hazardous PM 2.5 particles entering the cabin), pre-heat, pre-cool and more! It also offers partially recycled carpets and leather free upholstery.

Though the tailpipe emission for the PHEV (49g CO2/km) is lower, compared to the conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) variant, it is not as low as some of the other PHEVs offered by Volvo. In any case, electric driving is good for the environment and the wallet!

Good build and reliableAn expensive PHEV. Cheaper options available
Use of more sustainable materials for the interior cabinFour-wheel drive not available
Good level of standard equipment and featuresElectric range does not inspire


The Volvo XC40 PHEV SUV (credit: Volvo)

At A Glance
EV Type:Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Body Type:SUV
Engine:Electric/ Petrol
Available In Ireland:No

Variants (3 Options)
Recharge Core (from € N/A)
Recharge Plus (from € N/A)
Recharge Ultimate (from € N/A)

EV Battery & Emissions
EV Battery Type:Lithium-ion
EV Battery Capacity:Available in one battery size: 10.7 kWh
Charging:DC charging not available. Onboard charger: 3.6 kW AC (0% – 100%: 3 hrs)
Charge Port:Type 2
EV Cable Type:Type 2
Tailpipe Emissions:49g – 47g (CO2/km)
Battery Warranty:8 years or 160,000 km

Average Cost Of Residential Charging
Battery net capacity : 8.8 kWh€ 2.10
Battery net capacity : 11.6 kWh€ 2.78
Battery net capacity : 12.0 kWh€ 2.87
Battery net capacity : 13.10 kWh€ 3.14
Battery net capacity : 14.10 kWh€ 3.37
  • Note 1: The average cost of residential electricity in Ireland varies depending on the region, supplier and type of energy used. An average for Ireland is 23.97 cents/kWh.
  • Note 2: Not all EV manufactures make available the data on net EV battery capacity, and in a number of instances the EV battery capacity advertised, does not state if it is gross or net capacity. In general, usable EV battery capacity is between 85% to 95% of the gross available capacity.

Charging Times (Overview)
Slow charging AC (3 kW – 3.6 kW):6 – 12 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SOC)
Fast charging AC (7 kW – 22 kW):3 – 8 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging AC (43 kW):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
  • Note 1: SoC: state-of-charge

Height (mm):1652
Width (mm):2034
Length (mm):4440
Wheelbase (mm):2702
Turning Circle (m):11.4
Boot Space (L):452

Volvo XC40 T 4 Plug-in Hybrid
EV Battery Capacity:10.7 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):46 km
Electric Consumption (kWh/100km):15.4 kWh
Fuel Consumption (l/100km):2.1 -2.3
Charging:DC charging not available. Onboard charger: 3.6 kW AC (0% – 100%: 3 hrs)
Top Speed:180 km/h
0-100 km/h:8.5 seconds
Drive:Front-wheel drive (FWD)
Electric Motor (kW):81
Horsepower (hp):211
Torque (Nm):405
Gross Vehicle Weight (kg):2,290
NCAP Safety Rating:Five-Star

Volvo XC40 T 5 Plug-in Hybrid
EV Battery Capacity:10.7 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):45 km
Electric Consumption (kWh/100km):15.5 kWh
Fuel Consumption (l/100km):2.1 -2.3
Charging:DC charging not available. Onboard charger: 3.6 kW AC (0% – 100%: 3 hrs)
Top Speed:180 km/h
0-100 km/h:7.3 seconds
Drive:Front-wheel drive (FWD)
Electric Motor (kW):81
Horsepower (hp):262
Torque (Nm):425
Gross Vehicle Weight (kg):2,290
NCAP Safety Rating:Five-Star

Longest Range Pure Electric Cars: Top 5

The electric driving sector has certainly witnessed significant progress in relation to electric range, for both, battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). Historically, range anxiety has been an impediment for consumers keen to migrate to electric cars, in particular, pure electric cars.

Though range anxiety has been a valid concern, in our view, it had been over-exaggerated. Do keep in mind that most day-to-day driving involves short journeys i.e. school runs, travel to work, local high street, gym, grocery store etc. How many times in a month do we really travel long distances?

In any case, with the latest-generation of pure electric cars, there is ample e-range for both short and long-distance motorway journeys. In fact, the latest-generation of pure electric cars offer a real-world range over 500 km on a single charge. Some of these EVs can travel from the North to the South of Ireland on a single-charge! The longest range electric car on our list below is the all-electric Mercedes-Benz EQS saloon with a WLTP claimed range up to 729 km.

Several factors have contributed to the improvement in emission-free electric range. Some of these include: increase in size of the onboard EV battery, improvements in the EV battery management, sleeker aerodynamics, lower vehicle weight and overall improvement in vehicle efficiency. We can expect this trend to continue, as automotive manufacturers labour to further improve the efficiency of electric vehicles and ultimately electric range.

It is also worth noting, that not all automotive manufacturers aspire for the largest onboard EV battery or the longest electric range. Many electric cars, like the all-electric Honda-e have been developed primarily to target the needs of urban drivers, who travel short distances. Of course, even for such electric cars, automotive manufacturers continue to seek improvements in vehicle efficiency and e-range.

Brand/ ModelBattery Size (kWh)Electric Range (WLTP)Body TypeBattery Warranty
Mercedes-Benz EQS108.4 kWh729 kmSaloon8 years or 160,000 km
BMW i7105.7 kWh622 kmSaloon8 years or 160,000 km
Mercedes-Benz EQE90.6 kWh617 kmSaloon8 years or 160,000 km
Polestar 3111 kWh610 kmSUV8 years or 160,000 km
Ford Mustang Mach-E98 kWh600 kmSUV8 years or 160,000 km

While e-zoomed uses reasonable efforts to provide accurate and up-to-date information, some of the information provided is gathered from third parties and has not been independently verified by e-zoomed. While the information from the third party sources is believed to be reliable, no warranty, express or implied, is made by e-zoomed regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of any information. This disclaimer applies to both isolated and aggregate uses of this information.

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Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include, the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising large-scale industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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