In this new CircutorElectroChallenge autonomy challenge, we drive the 100% electric version of one of the Nordic references, we push a Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin Pure Electric to the limit of its autonomy, using, as always, our best Efficient and calm Driving skills.
Indeed, the Swedish firm, currently owned by the Geely group, has had to create a very long name in order to differentiate this electric model from its hybrid and plug-in hybrid brothers in the transition that has been marked in order to incorporate at least one engine. electricity to all cars produced from 2025.
The Volvo XC40 Recharge is the smallest of the SUVs of the Scandinavian brand, however, the perception inside the car is not the passage of small spaces, but quite the opposite, the driver's position allows very good visibility and it shows that it has been thought from the point of view of ergonomics.
One of the notable components of the interior design line of the new generation Volvo is the removal of materials of animal origin, in line with a philosophy of approaching a public that is increasingly aware of sustainability and ecology. However, the perception of quality of its finishes is really good.
The consumption obtained will force us to fine-tune our driving, the fact of starting from a conventional platform, a considerable weight and all-wheel drive thanks to the coupling of an engine on each axis, result in a higher consumption than what we are used to. get in our challenges. Can we reach the promised 400 km?
Shall we go north or south?
We start our route, as so often, from the CIRCUTOR headquarters, in Viladecavalls. The car, still plugged into our Raption 50 fast charger, indicates 370 km of autonomy and, here is the difference with other cars, in addition to this value, it also announces a window of values depending on how we decide to drive the car, from 450 to 250 km. Very interesting, since with a single piece of information it adapts to any type of person behind the wheel.
Today we have a day of truce, the rains have stopped and, therefore, we will be able to drive more calmly and efficiently. We have decided to repeat heading south and at the first control on this route, in Sitges, we already have the first data that gives us an idea of what we will be able to do. Despite some incredible acceleration test to get ahead of the crowd of cyclists we have encountered on the Costas de El Garraf, our consumption is 16.1 kWh/100 km and we maintain 83% battery life despite having covered 80 km .
We continue looking for light, and after crossing El Vendrell and Valls, we arrive at the capital of La Conca de Barberà, Montblanc. the port of Lilla takes its toll and our consumption has risen to 18.1 kWh/100 km, we have already covered 154 km and with the remaining 63% battery our autonomy is 240 km. A good time to recover energy by tasting bread with tomato and a potato omelette at Casal de la Vila.
On the way to Tàrrega, we will still make a photographic stop, surrounded by wind turbines, we are in Passanant, at the top of the chain, the sun is very pleasant outside but it warms us up a lot inside when we enter through the glass roof, therefore, some energy will have to be consumed when activating the ventilation.
At the noon control, we have covered 172 km and we are in the region of L'Urgell, we have a crosswind and after exceeding the 714 m altitude of Belltall, our consumption has exceeded 22 kWh/100 km the recalculation from the on-board computer tells us that we have only 190 km of autonomy, a very important reduction, since only 20 km ago we had 50 more. But we are used to not being alarmed by these specific data.
Can we keep our plans? Will we be able to recover enough energy to be able to reach the approved autonomy?
The day is still incredible, after two weeks of rain, the atmosphere is crystal clear and we have impressive visibility, true colours, the entire range of greens imaginable and the first yellow blooms of rapeseed. We are fortunate and aware that all this must be preserved.
We have already covered 252 km, and we are on our way to Torà on the C1412, with a fairly intense headwind that forces us to refine our driving so as not to penalize consumption, however we accumulated 18.4 kWh/100 km, still below the homologation value and 42% battery to face the rest of the challenge.
The wind turbines that surround us make much better use of this yeast, clean energy, which, contrary to what many people think, enriches the landscape for us, since they give it that soul of productivity and sustainability at the same time.
Have you guessed it? We are in Calaf, a ventada town and a strategic point due to its altitude of 680 m from where it dominates the entire region of L'Anoia. We pay for the garment, getting here has meant an increase in consumption to 19.2 kWh/100 km. In fact, in just 17 km we have lost 10% of the battery and with 110 km of autonomy, someone might think of returning home by the shortest route, however, we always go to the limit.
We take advantage of the favorable terrain, both the C25 to Manresa and the C55 to Abrera that restore our spirits and confidence, the Volvo XC40 Recharge walks alone and smoothly, of course in silence, which we take advantage of to enjoy the Harman Kardon sound system that sounds spectacular and the connectivity of your navigation system and Google applications, shall we open the Country folder in Spotify?
We have reached the lands of the Baix Llobregat so smoothly that in the last 70 km we have consumed only 10% of the battery and it allows us to be overwhelmed, we will go down to Barcelona, we will make its coastline and we will go up the Besòs road to the Vallès to home, although with a 9% battery the vehicle already indicates that some of the power benefits will be reduced. Indeed, the Swedes also have a turtle.
At this point, it is worth highlighting an innovative and very useful element: when selecting a destination in the browser, the system not only calculates the distance and time to arrive, but also the level of charge that we will have at the end of the journey, and when? our energy reserve is not enough? Then, the screen shows us the address of the closest chargers and the battery level with which we would arrive in each of them.
Results Autonomy Challenge - Volvo XC40 Recharge
We knew from the start that it would be very difficult to contain the 400 hp that propels this machine from 0 to 100 km/h in less than five seconds despite weighing 2.2 tons. Even so, we are very satisfied with both the consumption and the autonomy achieved with an electrified vehicle that will surely set the path for the Swedish brand for the coming years.
The Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin is a TOTAL, elegant vehicle, with ideal dimensions for all types of driving, agile in the city and powerful in the mountains, especially the Twin version with all-wheel drive, but what, carried with efficiency and tranquility, can take us so far however we want, surely the rear-wheel drive version, while maintaining efficient driving, allows us to travel without limits thanks to its recharging capacity of up to 149 kW.
The Solidarity Tour is a 20 km route starting and finishing at the Circutor headquarters in Viladecavalls, which runs along very twisty secondary roads with slopes of up to 250 m.
The EcoBest tour is a 60 km mixed route that includes approximately 50% motorway, 25% city and the rest on interurban roads, very similar to the distribution of the WLTP cycle.
All our challenges are based on achieving maximum autonomy, in real traffic conditions, using efficient driving techniques and moderate speeds, always above the minimum marked on each road.