Video interview – Philippe chose a Volvo C40 as his first electric car

Before becoming an electromobilist, Philippe drove an Audi A4 station wagon. The 2022 summer vacation was an opportunity for him to try long highway trips in an electric car. This test allowed him to form an opinion on the Volvo C40 in a finish that qualifies him for the maximum bonus.

Volvo C40 in the starting line

The C40 is the coupé version of the Volvo XC40 Recharge electric SUV. The machine is available in 3 Start, Plus and Ultimate trim levels, which will start in October 2022 respectively on the manufacturer’s website for 44,950, 50,850 and 55,400 euros, excluding bonuses.

Philippe, whom Maxime Fontanier met for a user opinion, chose the entry level, which he finds already well equipped with the fixed panoramic roof, which his daughter likes, as well as the reversing camera, which is imperative for him.

Wanting a more compact model than his previous break, our interviewee sampled 4 cars before settling on the C40, which has a footprint of 4.44m x 1.87m, at 1.59m in height. Ordered in March 2022 for delivery scheduled for the following August, his SUV was delivered to him in advance, exactly on July 11. This change in schedule allowed him to go on vacation with his new car.

Driveline

With the start-finish, the Volvo C40 is driven by the front wheels using a permanent magnet synchronous motor that develops a maximum power of 170 kW (231 hp) with a torque of 330 Nm. 0 to 100 km/h in 7.4 seconds. In comparison, the four-wheel drive versions draw 300 kW (408 hp) from their 2 engines.

According to the manufacturer, the lithium-ion battery with an energy capacity of 69 kWh on paper translates into a WLTP combined cycle consumption of 18.1 kWh/100 km for a range of 437 km. In urban areas, the theoretical range increases to 610 km, with consumption falling to 13 kWh/100 km.

For charging at home or at public AC terminals, the SUV coupe has an 11 kW charger. At the ultra-fast stations, the power can rise to at best 150 kW thanks to the Combo CCS plug, located under the hatch located at the rear left of the vehicle. The Volvo C40 is approved to tow a trailer up to 1,500 kg. Its curb weight is 2,045 kg.

The heat pump as a bonus

If Philippe chose the C40 version over the more common XC40, it is because he ” find her much more beautiful “. But also because it is not available with a petrol or diesel engine, the coupé allows it to ” display in electric car “. He finds further nicer » the design of the stern.

As we can see in the video, our reader has retained the black color assigned as standard, as well as the 19-inch 5-double-spoke black/diamond alloy wheels, mounted in 235/50 at the front and 255/45 at the ‘rear.

While the cap to claim the €6,000 bonus was still €45,000, with the C40 in Start trim around €46,800 (excluding the specific 4% discount for France to retain eligibility for the maximum subsidy), our interlocutor bargained hard in concession.

And this to achieve a price below the threshold between the 2 bonus tranches, while enjoying the winter package of 1,000 euros, which includes an essential equipment in his eyes: the heat pump. The option also brings the steering wheel and heated seats in the front.

A sufficient suitcase

With only 6 liters less than the XC40, the Volvo C40 offers a volume of 413 l (or 489 l including double bottom hold) behind the tailgate, which can be opened manually at the start finish. By folding the bench seat into 2 parts with a ski hatch, the space increases to 1,205 l (compared to 1,295 l with the XC40). does not count frustrated under the front cover, for storing a large travel bag or the charging cables.

Is it enough for Philippe? Yes, according to his explanations: It was a pleasant surprise. I had bought bars at the same time as the C40 for my roof box. But eventually everything got into the car “. It is therefore without an unsightly appendix that Philippe’s electric coupé SUV swallowed its first long journey, leaving the Paris region for the surroundings of Montauban, in Tarn-et-Garonne.

The only anomaly that our reader has encountered since his purchase of the Volvo C40: a loss of connection twice, preventing the use of the radio, the Spotify application, etc., without losing the GPS or the Google Assistant. ” It was enough to stop the car, restart it and it came back. This is a relatively minor error «, he reassures.

Three times cheaper than thermal

I drove about 2,200 kilometers between the tour and 3 weeks there. I was a bit scared when I left in August, to have to queue at the stations on the motorway. All in all, it went well. I had to wait a bit a few times, but never more than 10-15 minutes », in retrospect Philippe still rejoices at the recharging of his Volvo C40.

This episode allowed him to assess that his new car ” is very comfortable to drive to make long trips. But also to discover that charging prices are higher using DC chargers in service areas rather than terminals installed in villages or towns.

However, he could see a big reduction in his energy budget: ” Chaville-Montauban one way cost me 38.32 euros by taking the motorway. The 3 weeks there I paid 18.90 euros. And I got it for 49.79 euros on the way back, because of a terminal where the price was particularly high. That’s 107 euros in total “.

To compare with a thermomobile, he reduced the price per 100 kilometers: ” 4.25 euros for electric, against 12-14 euros with thermal depending on the model “.

Some appreciations

During his demonstration ride with Maxime Fontanier as a passenger, our reader highlighted the importance of having the reversing camera from the entry level: ” It is relatively necessary because the visibility to the rear is very much reduced “.

On the other hand, the turning circle (11.4 m between pavements and 11.8 m between walls) was no particular problem for him. It is relatively close to his old Audi A4. On the other hand, he assesses in relation to the latter ” firmer ” suspension : ” But that’s fine. For my children, who were a little sensitive on board the station wagon, did not experience nausea during all holidays with the Volvo C40 “.

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He also appreciated the soundproofing of his new car: ” We can turn down the radio, suddenly or speak less loudly. It’s much nicer “.

Instead of Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, Philippe ended up preferring the Google Assistant built into the vehicle: ” It is much better because when we choose a destination, it tells us the distance, the energy level left in the battery upon arrival and offers charging stations that we can freely choose if necessary. This planner is efficient “.

Autonomy

The figures obtained by Maxime Fontanier’s interlocutor in terms of autonomy are different from those communicated by the manufacturer according to the calculations made for the WLTP cycles: 17-18 kWh/100 km in the city and 21-22 kWh/100 km cruising on the highway with about 120 km/h. Either between 380 and 400 km, which flirts with breakdown in urban areas, and 310-330 km on motorways. ” For the use I have of this car, it suits me very well “, says Philippe.

It is also pleased with the fabric upholstery in the entry-level finish. Already because he had no leather interior in the Audi. But also because the high summer temperatures allowed him to see that this coating did not take too much heat under these conditions. However, the steering wheel is made of synthetic leather.

After trying a version with the strongest output of 300 kW, he still prefers the 170 kW of his C40: ” The 4.7 seconds for 0 to 100 km/h is good for fun. In reality, we don’t need these notions. To overtake or disrupt a line, the 170 kW, it’s perfect! “.

The entire Automobile Propre team would like to thank Philippe for his testimony and the time he spent filming.

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