What is Volvo Recharge?

Volvo Recharge refers to the luxury automaker’s lineup of plug-in electric hybrid (PHEV) and electric vehicles (EV). Volvo introduced the name when it debuted the new 2021 XC40 Recharge electric SUV, and the company is also applying it as an umbrella concept to its family of PHEVs. 

Volvo Recharge Electric and Plug-in Vehicles

Recharge is different from Polestar, which is the brand Volvo is using to both differentiate performance-tuned PHEVs (Polestar Engineered) and to launch a separate high-end electric vehicle family (Polestar). 

Further complicating matters, for the 2020 model year at least, Volvo continues to refer to its PHEV powertrains both as T8 eAWD, which differentiates them from the turbocharged T5 and the turbocharged and supercharged T6 gas engines, and as Twin Engine models. It also calls the XC40 Recharge’s powertrain a P8 AWD.

Yes, it is quite confusing.

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Setting aside for a moment the current mish-mash branding of the company’s PHEVs, let’s focus on the 2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge P8. Based on the company’s popular compact SUV, the XC40 Recharge P8 is the first purely electric model from Volvo as the automaker executes the next phase of its plans to offer nothing but hybrid and electric vehicles by 2025 on its way to becoming a climate-neutral automaker by 2040.

An official part of the vehicle’s name rather than an umbrella concept, Recharge clearly signals the electric XC40’s battery-powered drivetrain. Volvo says the XC40 Recharge P8 has a 78-kWh battery that provides more than 200 miles of driving range, and the front and rear electric motors produce a total of 402 horsepower, running this compact crossover to 60 mph in a claimed 4.7 seconds. The tow rating is 2,000 pounds, and when it’s time to recharge, the XC40 Recharge P8 goes from 10% to 80% battery capacity in about 40 minutes when using a 150-kW DC Fast Charger.

Expect Volvo to use Recharge P8 naming with its future pure-electric models.

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Since plug-in hybrids also require recharging, it makes sense for Volvo to use Recharge as an umbrella concept for its family of PHEVs. For 2020, Volvo offers plug-in versions of the S60 and S90 sedans, the V60 wagon, and the XC60 and XC90 SUVs.

These are not new models. Since the first Volvo PHEV went on sale, they’ve been referred to as T8 eAWD variants and, more recently, as Twin Engine models. For example, if you referred to the XC60 T8 eAWD or to the XC60 Twin Engine, you’d be talking about the same plug-in hybrid SUV. 

Whether Volvo plans to replace one or both of these PHEV references with Recharge is unclear, and an argument could be made that the name should be reserved only for pure electrics like the XC40 Recharge P8. This is especially true considering that by 2025 every model Volvo sells will have a mild-hybrid, a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid, or an electric powertrain.

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Today, if you do not want an electrified powertrain in your Volvo, you get a car or SUV with a T5 front-wheel-drive or T6 all-wheel-drive drivetrain. For example, the Volvo XC60 T5 or the Volvo XC60 T6 AWD.

If you want a PHEV powertrain in your Volvo, you get a car or SUV with a Twin Engine designation and a T8 electric AWD drivetrain. And if you choose the performance-tuned version, it is further known as Polestar Engineered. For example, the Volvo XC60 Twin Engine T8 eAWD Polestar Engineered. 

If you want an electric Volvo, you get a car or SUV with a Recharge designation and a P8 AWD drivetrain. For example, the Volvo XC40 Recharge P8.

And if you want a high-end electric Volvo, you buy a car or SUV wearing the Polestar brand. For example, the Polestar 2.

All of this, of course, is subject to change.

The information in this article is from Volvo. It was accurate on August 10, 2020 but may have changed since that date.