It’s monsoon in Maharashtra, which means it is lush green everywhere, and just outside the city limits, your senses will be transported to medieval times. Nature at its best, recently my friend from Dubai was here, and he was just loving the fact that he could see so much greenery and was completely enjoying it, little things that we take for granted. What is not good is the traffic snarls, waterlogged streets and potholes which surface back every year. The whole context of the above is that it’s actually ideal for testing any car, and if it’s electric, even better to test the real-world range and driving capabilities. It was a weekend we got hold of the Volvo XC40 Recharge at 83 % charge and dashed off to Nashik to do touristy weekend things.

The self-imposed challenge was to see if, on a single charge, a weekend drive outside city limits is possible and face the range anxiety head-on. The traffic was bumper to bumper in Mumbai, and covering a distance of 35 km took us roughly 2 hours, and heavy downpour only worsened the traffic situation. The cabin inside the XC40 Recharge was cocooned with the Harman & Kardon music system playing its part to perfection and bringing calm from the chaos outside. It borrows the android based infotainment system from the facelifted XC60 & XC90, and the Indian spec will have Apple CarPlay also. The inbuilt Google maps make navigation easy and you can also download Spotify, sign in and use it directly from the infotainment centre. Option to download a few more apps and all this limits your interaction with the smartphone. I had kept it on wireless charging during the drive and never needed to touch it. I had activated one pedal driving from the menu, and that made even crawling in traffic quite blissful. You just need to lift your foot from the accelerator, and the car comes gradually to a complete stop. You could see on the screen behind the steering wheel the regen and the batteries getting charged. No other electric car in India has such flawless executed one-pedal driving. KIA EV6 comes closest with its i-pedal.

Once the city limits were breached and roads opened up, I was really soaking in the purely electric driving bliss and the powerful machine that the XC40 Recharge comes with. I had my eyes on the charge, per cent of battery left but was intentionally hammering the car and driving at all speeds. Volvo XC40 Recharge is a beast of a mid-size luxury SUV that will really throw you off guard with its thrust and acceleration. Its twin motors produce 660 NM of torque and 408 hp with a claimed 0-100 of 4.9 seconds, these numbers are supercar territory, and I will not mince any words and say that the XC40 Recharge is an absolute joy to drive and punt around. It rides on 19-inch tyres, and the seats hug you well with braking on point even in watery streets. I got some surprisingly big potholes as visitors on the way, but they did not bother with the ride quality and could glide over it. The ground clearance is reduced to 175mm, and it carries with itself a 78 kWh battery, but it’s a good clearance to cover most of the city roads and broken tarmacs.

With four people and luggage, we reached the luxurious Radisson blu in Nashik with a 31 % charge still left after covering roughly 163Km. Radisson blu has multiple regular wall mount charging, and we put it to charge and calculated to just add 17% so that we could make our assessment on 100% charge. We overshot the charging, and we now had 67% charging after 9 hours. And the next morning, we went and explored Nashik and picked up MTDC boat club, Ramkhud ghat and, of course, Sadhana misal, which added another 50 km of extra driving. On the way back, we stopped by and gained some charge since it was downhill, but that negates all the extra battery, which got depicted on the way up.

Verdict :

We reached my home with around 375 KM of total driving on 104% of battery charge . My Average driving speed hovered between 10 km to 90 km at times, even touching 120km where the roads were clear and when there were no speed limits. Volvo XC40 Recharge with a WLTP range of 418 km delivered 375km with 4% of extra charge, and that’s phenomenal by any standards and keeping in mind that it’s a mid-size luxury SUV that’s also powerful and a delight to drive. Seriously, the future of EVs is on a rampage and it’s getting exciting by the day I have killed my range anxiety with Volvo XC40 Recharge forever.

Cost of Ownership

The all-new Volvo XC40 Recharge is being offered via an online portal across the country at an introductory price of Rs.55.90 lakhs (ex-showroom). Customers not only get this much, but a few additional ownership highlights are the 3 years comprehensive car warranty, a 3 years Volvo service package and even a 3-year Roadside Assistance. Volvo also goes a step ahead in providing an 8 years warranty on the battery pack. Over-the-air digital services for 4 years will also be included in the package. An 11kW wall box charger is also being provided along with the Volvo XC40 Recharge.