Volvo begins production of its first electric vehicle

Volvo has announced that production of the XC40 Recharge P8, the firm’s first electric vehicle, has begun at its factory in Ghent, Belgium.

The Swedish car maker says it has sold out of this year’s allocation of cars and is now taking orders for deliveries in 2021.

The XC40 Recharge is built on the same Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) as the regular petrol-powered models, adapted for an electric powertrain. It has a claimed range of 249 miles and makes 403bhp.

Volvo XC40 Recharge
Volvo XC40 Recharge

Inside, it has an Android-powered infotainment system with embedded Google technology such as Google Assistant, and it can receive updates over the air too.

Javier Varela, head of global industrial operations and quality at Volvo, said: “Today is a momentous occasion for Volvo Cars and for all employees here in Ghent.

“As we continue to electrify our line-up, the Ghent plant is a real trailblazer for our global manufacturing network.”

With the launch of our first fully electric vehicle, the XC40 Recharge, our ambition remains as strong as before – to have 50% of our sales come from pure electric vehicles by 2025. #WorldEVDay

— Volvo Car UK (@VolvoCarUK) September 9, 2020

Volvo is putting its weight behind electrification, and this week announced a €500m (circa £452m) ‘green bond’ to fund electric vehicle development.

Under EU rules, car manufacturers earn credits for selling electric and hybrid vehicles.

Volvo said almost one in three of the cars it sold in Europe this year were hybrid, allowing it to fund this green bond by selling credits to other manufacturers who are struggling to meet emissions legislation