We are sure Volvo never meant to compete with the Tesla Model Y when it created the XC40 Recharge. The idea was probably just to offer an electric-only version of the compact crossover and sell it as much as possible. Anyway, Volvo’s walkaround of its EV made us scratch our heads. Could it be a worthy competitor to the Model Y?
The first technical element to deny that is the size of these vehicles. While the Model Y is 187 in (4.75 m) long, the XC40 is 174.4 in (4.43 m) long. Their wheelbase is also very different, with the Tesla presenting 113.8 in (2.89 m) and the Volvo, 106.3 in (2.70 m). Sizewise, the Model Y is at a different level, closer to the XC60 in terms of length and to the XC90 when it comes to its wheelbase.
Regarding range, the most that the Model Y offers nowadays is 316 mi (509 km), according to EPA. Volvo promises the 78 kWh battery pack of the XC40 Recharge can make it travel more than 400 km (249 mi), but we still do not have its EPA number.
Regardless of that, the XC40 Recharge’s 78 kWh battery pack is bigger than the 75 kWh pack on the Model Y – which is a bigger vehicle. Yet, it offers a longer range. That shows how much more efficient the Model Y is.
Gallery: Volvo XC40 Recharge (2020)
Although Volvo did a very good job in turning the XC40 into an EV – giving it the frunk all other manufacturers should have given their electric cars – it is still evident that a car conceived to run solely on electricity is much more efficient than one that has been converted to do that – even if in a more competent way than most other manufacturers achieved.
Finally, the XC40 Recharge is still eligible for the full EV federal tax credit of $7,500. Even with it, it is expected to cost below $50,000 with the government incentive included. That is dangerously close to the $52,990 Tesla charges for the Model Y Long Range without the tax credit.
Perhaps the XC40 will not have the same build issues the Model Y already presents. And it will offer a more luxurious interior, but the truth is this: When most numbers favor a vehicle, it tends to sell way better than the other one. Especially if the most important number – the price – is also on its side.