Volvo’s 2024 EV models include RWD for first time in a quarter century, plus range increases

After previously hinting at some upgrades to come, Volvo Cars has shared details of its 2024 model year C40 and XC40 Recharge EVs. By developing a new motor in-house, Volvo is delivering expanded powertrain variants, all promising improved range.

Volvo Cars is one of the legacy automakers that has publicly embraced a full transition to selling electric vehicles only by 2030. That journey truly began in 2020 when the company launched a BEV version of its XC40 SUV called the XC40 Recharge.

It was followed a year later by the C40 Recharge, which completes Volvo’s current lineup of all-electric offerings. However, those two models will soon be joined by the upcoming EX90, whose early customer demand has led Volvo to close orders, citing a sellout as it prepares to begin its first model year of production.

This past January, Volvo COO Javier Varela relayed the company’s plans to expand EV sales through upgrades to its 2024 EVs – more specifically, the C40 Recharge and XC40 Recharge. At the time, the automaker was promising increases to range and charging speeds on the wings of a new in-house motor design and the integration of a RWD variant – the first in any Volvo Cars vehicle in the US in 25 years.

At that same time, the company described a standard and an extended-range version of the RWD configuration on the 2024 Volvo EVs. Today, the company officially announced its 2024 lineup of EV models for the US, complete with two (not three) powertrain options, plus EPA estimated ranges.

Volvo 2024 EVs see new motors, increased range

Per the details shared by Volvo Cars USA today, customers will soon be able to order a new 2024 XC40 Recharge or C40 Recharge EV, complete with many of the upgrades previously promised.

First, Volvo developed its second-generation permanent magnet electric motor in-house for the first time – which will now power the rear axle of its RWD EVs. The new and more efficient 185-kW (248-hp) rear motor also leaves additional room on Volvo’s EV platform for an 82-kWh battery pack. As a result, the RWD versions of the C40 Recharge and XC40 Recharge can deliver up to 297 and 293 miles of EPA estimated range, respectively.

Furthermore, the larger 82-kWh battery pack allows for charge rates up to 200 kW, which Volvo Cars states equates to recharging 10-80% in approximately 28 minutes. Thanks to the new rear motor, Volvo shared that the AWD versions of its 2024 EVs will also see some range increases.

Rather than implement two 150-kW motors like previous versions of the Recharge EVs, Volvo has added the new 255-hp electric motor to the rear, plus a new 147-hp asynchronous electric motor on the front axle. Since the asynchronous motor does not require constant energy and only engages when needed, the AWD variants are more efficient, despite retaining the same 78-kWh battery pack as previous model years.

Volvo shared that the 2024 dual-motor XC40 Recharge EV now offers up to 254 miles of EPA range, up 21 miles from last year’s model. The range of Volvo’s AWD C40 Recharge also increased from 226 miles to 257 miles in the 2024 EV.

Another result of the AWD EVs utilizing the same battery pack is limited charge rates. The dual-motor versions will still only be able to handle up to 150-kW fast charging, leading to slower speeds than the new RWD models. Volvo COO Javier Varela once again spoke:

These updates are another big step in our work towards becoming a fully electric car maker by 2030. 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.

Although it was mentioned back in January, Volvo’s current 2024 EV lineup does not mention any standard range RWD versions of either Recharge model. We’ve asked Volvo Cars for clarification on if the US market will see that third variant and were told not for the 2024 models – just the 82 kWh RWD and dual motor to begin.

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