Volvo XC40 Recharge long term test: report 5

The Volvo XC40 Recharge is fully electric and based on a former What Car? Car of the Year, but what's it like to live with? We're finding out...

Volvo XC40 Recharge long termer

The car Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin AWD Ultimate | Run by Claire Evans, consumer editor

Why it's here To see if the pricey pure electric version of the XC40 is as much of a leader in the family SUV segment as its conventionally fuelled siblings were when they first went on sale

Needs to Be a safe, fault-free commuter car part of the week, and cope with the demands of rural family life without running out of range at the weekends

Mileage 4584 List price £61,855 Target Price £61,855 Price as tested £61,855 Official range 270 miles Test range 210 miles

8 July 2023 – Charging ahead... or not

The Volvo XC40 Recharge had its first rear-seat passengers this week: my grown-up daughter and her 6ft 2in tall boyfriend. Both reported that they were comfortable and had enough leg and head room, even with the panoramic glass sunroof that’s standard on my Ultimate spec car. They also appreciated having their own air-con controls given how the hot weather was. 

While the XC40 has generally been a pleasure for transporting my family and I on some long-distance days out, though, my charging forays have been a mixed bag. I had a positive experience at a new MFG EV public charging site at a petrol station in Canterbury, where I didn’t have to wait for a charger and got speeds of up to 120kW.

Volvo XC40 Recharge long termer

I was also mostly impressed by the Shell Recharge units at my local Waitrose supermarket, with these delivering up to 120kW. However, it did take a while to get the car in the best position to charge up; parking the car on the side of the unit with the CCS charger lead meant I had to yank the charge lead violently to get it to extend to reach the charging port, and it wasn’t easy to plug it in. I ended up parking in the wrong bay and pulling the lead across, which was fine, but only because mine was the only car there. 

There have been issues with charging the XC40 at home, too. My Myenergi Zappi unit has recently started to switch itself off in the middle of charging the car up overnight. If I had a problem with a combustion-engined car I’d know where to go to get it fixed, but electrical issues are more perplexing. 

Volvo XC40 Recharge long termer

I’ve ruled out it being the XC40's fault, because it continues to charges up perfectly at public chargers. And, given that the problem happens in the early hours of the morning, I don’t think it’s an issue with any other electrical devices overloading the system and making the home charger turn off. So, I'm going to try charging with a different cable to see if my lead is the cause of the problem. 

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