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Volvo launches XC40 Recharge as its first mass market battery electric vehicle

The Volvo XC40 Recharge is the company's first modern electric vehicle.

Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

Its quirky shape, engaging drive dynamics, and encompassing available Bowers and Wilkins stereo system have earned the Volvo XC40 accolades since it debuted in 2017. Now, Volvo has introduced the 2020 XC40 Recharge, a battery electric-powered SUV that will competing directly the forthcoming Tesla Model Y and current Kia Niro EV and Hyundai Kona EV.

The XC40 Recharge is Volvo's first step in a new lineup built around electrified powertrains. The automaker has already pledged to introduce a new EV each year in order to make half its lineup fully electric by 2025.

Volvo has given the XC40 Recharge a 78 kilowatt-hour battery. That's the same battery pack that is in the Polestar 2.

Volvo XC40 Recharge rear back plug charging Volvo has not yet announced which charging company they are teaming up with in the U.S.Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

U.S. models are slated to have 487 pound-feet of torque and 402 total horsepower. The compact SUV has a promised range of over 200 miles for U.S. buyers (most Americans travel just 30 miles a day) and can be charged up to 80 percent of its capacity in 40 minutes using a fast-charging system. On a Level 2 charger, getting to that point will take 7.5 hours. The automaker has not yet announced a charging company partner.

Volvo claims the vehicle can get from zero to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds, squarely placing it in the "zippy" category.

Volvo XC40 Recharge charging front grille headlights wheels The XC40 Recharge isn't too different from a traditional XC40 on the outside and inside.Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

The XC40 Recharge has very similar looks to the 2019 Volvo XC40. The biggest differentiator is its enclosed grille. Side mirrors, lower fascia, and the roof have been given a black paint job. Volvo will sell the XC40 Recharge with an available Sage Green paint job.

Because there is no engine, the front trunk (frunk, if you prefer) has been turned into a cargo storage area.

Volvo XC40 Recharge roof side spoiler black Volvo has kept the two-tone look on this XC40.Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

The model's interior is nearly identical to the XC40. It includes Volvo's new Android-powered infotainment system that supports Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Google Play.

The model will go on sale in late 2020 and is promised to cost around $55,000.

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Volvo's Advanced Air Cleaner technology allows owners to be more informed about the environmet of their vehicle.

Photo courtesy of Volvo Cars

Volvo drivers will be able to see the quality of the air inside their vehicle thanks to new, first-to-market technology from the automaker. Called Advanced Air Cleaner, the tech includes a sensor that measures PM 2.5 levels inside the cabin.

PM 2.5 is a measurement that is widely used for air quality. It measures the amount of fine particulate matter in the air. High amounts of fine particulates can be an indication of pollution.

An air quality index rating of below 50 is considered good. Over 100 is hazardous to those with breathing-sensitive medical conditions. Over 200 is considered unhealthy while over 300 is considered hazardous.

Volvo Advanced Air Cleaner The car's infotaiment system displays the air quality amount for owners to see.Photo courtesy of Volvo Cars

In urban regions, PM 2.5 measurements are frequently above the amount recommended by the World Health Organization due to various forms of pollution.

This morning, the air quality in still-smokey San Francisco is 61. Springville, California, near the SQF Complex fire, has an air quality index ratio of 424. At the same time, Minneapolis, Minnesota has a ratings of 11. The main causes of these less-than-ideal numbers are high amounts of PM 2.5 in the atmosphere.

The new technology will be available on Volvo models built on the company's Scalable Product Architecture. This includes the Volvo V90, V90 Cross Country, XC90, and all 60 series models. It uses a synthetic fiber-based filter and ionization, up to 95 percent of all PM 2.5 particles are kept out of the cabin.

The Volvo infotainment system and app allow drivers to check the PM 2.5 levels in their vehicle.

Volvo Advanced Air Cleaner The Volvo app allows users to check the PM 2.5 levels of their vehicle remotely.Photo courtesy of Volvo Cars

"With our Advanced Air Cleaner technology, you can rest assured that the air you breathe inside your Volvo is cleaner and healthier," said Anders Löfvendahl, senior technical expert on cabin air quality at Volvo Cars. "We believe that clean air is good for you, both from a health and from a safety perspective, and will continue to push the envelope in this area."

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Volkswagen has chosen a name for its new SUV.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The forthcoming new Volkswagen SUV will be called the Taos after the town in New Mexico. The name was chosen to specifically appeal to North American customers, who are the target market for the SUV, which Will slot below the Tiguan in the VW lineup.

“We're thrilled to announce the name for the newest member of the Volkswagen family," said Hein Schafer, Senior Vice President for Product Marketing and Strategy, Volkswagen of America, Inc. "It was important to choose a name that really embodied the nature of the car and the town of Taos, New Mexico was a perfect fit. It's a small city that offers big things—from outdoor adventure to arts and design and great cuisine."

Taos New Mexico Taos, New Mexico is the namesake for a forthcoming Volkswagen model.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

"We are excited that Volkswagen has named their sport utility vehicle after the town of Taos," said Taos Mayor Dan Barrone. "It's a great opportunity for our community to share its rich history and culture alongside Volkswagen with its unique and rich history and culture."

Taos, New Mexico is a thriving small town of 6,000 people. It has a 400-year history and a 1,000-year-old Native American community just a few miles from the center fo town. Artists and skiers flock to the city, which is noted for its stunning landscapes.

Incidentally, Taos was also home to John Muir, an engineer turned mechanic, and author of "How To Keep Your Volkswagen Alive: A Manual of Step-by-Step procedures for the Compleat Idiot." First published in 1969, and illustrated by local artist Peter Aschwanden, this counter-culture guide to Volkswagen repairs quickly developed a popular following. The book, started in Muir's Taos shop, has helped keep countless VW models running, from Beetles and Buses to Type 3 and Type 4 models.

Volkswagen promises that the new Taos “will offer great value, excellent fuel economy, and great packaging, as well as advanced infotainment and driver-assistance features”.

The 2022 Volkswagen Taos will be revealed on October 13.

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