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

Before becoming an electromobile driver, Philippe drove an Audi A4 station wagon. The 2022 summer break was an opportunity for him to experience long highway trips in an electric car. This test allowed him to form an opinion about the Volvo C40 in a finish that makes it eligible for the maximum bonus.

Volvo C40 in initial trim

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

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

Wanting a more compact model than its previous range, our caller tried out 4 cars before settling on the C40 which has a footprint of 4.44 x 1.87 m, for a height of 1.59 m. Ordered in March 2022 for delivery scheduled for the following August, his SUV was delivered to him in advance, precisely on the 11th of July. This time change allowed him to go on vacation in his new car.

power train

With the Start finish, the Volvo C40 is driven by the front wheels via a permanent magnet synchronous motor that develops a maximum power of 170 kW (231 hp) for a torque of 330 Nm. 0 to 100 km/h in 7.4 seconds. For comparison, the all-wheel drive versions consume 300 kW (408 hp) from its 2 engines.

According to the manufacturer, the lithium-ion battery with an energy capacity of 69 kWh translates on paper 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 dropping to 13 kWh/100 km.

For charging at home or at public AC terminals, the SUV coupé has an 11 kW charger. In ultra-fast stations, the power can reach a maximum of 150 kW, thanks to the Combo CCS connector to be discovered under the hatch located on the left rear of the vehicle. The Volvo C40 is approved to tow a trailer weighing 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 ” thinks she is much prettier “. But also because there is no gasoline or diesel engine, the coupé allows ” electric car display “. He still finds Nice » the design of the stern.

As we can see in the video, our player kept the assigned black color as standard, as well as the 19-inch black/diamond 5-twin-spoke alloy wheels, mounted at 235/50 in the front and 255/45 in the back.

While the maximum threshold for claiming the €6,000 bonus was still €45,000, with the C40 in Start being around €46,800 (excluding the specific 4% discount for France to maintain eligibility for the maximum aid), our interlocutor he fiercely negotiated the concession.

And that, to get a price below the threshold between the 2 bonus tranches, while benefiting from the 1,000 euro winter package that includes an essential piece of equipment in your eyes: the heat pump. The option also brings the steering wheel and heated seats forward.

a sufficient trunk

With just 6 liters less compared to the XC40, the Volvo C40 offers a volume of 413 l (or 489 l including the lower double hold) behind the tailgate to be opened manually at the start. When folding the seat into 2 parts with ski hatch, the space increases to 1,205 l (compared to 1,295 l with the XC40). Not to mention the weird under the front cover to store a large suitcase or charging cables.

Is that enough for Philippe? Yes, according to his explanations: It was a nice surprise. I bought bars at the same time as the C40 for my roof box. But in the end it all got into the car It is therefore without an ugly appendage that Philippe’s electric SUV coupe swallowed its first long journey, leaving the Paris region for the outskirts of Montauban in the Tarn-et-Garonne.

The only anomaly found by our reader since buying the Volvo C40: a loss of connection found twice, preventing the use of the radio, Spotify app, etc., without losing GPS or Google assistant. ” All he had to do was stop the car, start it and he was back. This is a relatively minor bug “, he reassures.

Three times cheaper than thermal

I did about 2,200 kilometers between the round trip and 3 weeks there. I was a little scared when I left in August of having to queue at highway stations. Overall it went well. I had to wait a bit sometimes but never more than 10-15 minutes », Philippe still rejoices in retrospect on recharging his Volvo C40.

This episode allowed him to estimate that his new car ” it’s very nice to drive to take long trips. But also to find that charging prices are higher using DC chargers in service areas instead of terminals installed in villages or cities.

However, he managed to see a big reduction in his energy budget: “ The Chaville-Montauban trip cost me 38.32 euros by road. The 3 weeks there, I paid 18.90 euros. And I bought it for 49.79 euros on the way back, due to a terminal where the price was particularly high. That is, 107 euros in total “.

To compare with a thermal car, he reduced the cost by 100 kilometers: “ 4.25 euros for electric, against 12-14 euros with thermal depending on the model “.

some appreciations

During his demo ride with Maxime Fontanier as a passenger, our reader highlighted the importance of having the reversing camera from the basic finish: “ It is relatively necessary, because rearward visibility is very poor. “.

On the other hand, the turning radius (11.4 m between sidewalks and 11.8 m between walls) was not a particular problem for him. It’s relatively close to that of your old Audi A4. On the other hand, in relation to the latter, he judges ” firmer “suspension:” But everything is fine. Because my kids who were a little sensitive aboard the station wagon didn’t feel nauseous during their entire Volvo C40 vacation “.

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He also appreciated the soundproofing of his new car: ” We can suddenly turn the radio less loudly 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’s much better, because when we choose a destination, it tells us the distance, the level of energy left in the battery on arrival, offering charging stations that we can freely choose if necessary. This planner is effective “.

Autonomy

The values ​​obtained by Maxime Fontanier’s interlocutor in terms of autonomy are different from those reported 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 when crossing the road at approx. of 120 km/h. Or between 380 and 400 km flirting with breakdowns in urban areas, and 310-330 km on expressways. ” For the use I have of this car, it suits me very well. “, believes Philip.

He is also content with the fabric upholstery of the basic finish. Already because there was no leather interior in the Audi. But also because the high temperatures of summer allowed him to see that this coating could not withstand much heat in these conditions. The steering wheel, however, is made of synthetic leather.

Having tried a version with the strongest power of 300 kW, he prefers the 170 kW of his C40: “ The 4.7 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h is good for fun. In reality, we don’t need these performances. To overtake or interfere in a line, at 170 kW it is perfect! “.

The entire Automobile Propre team thanks Philippe for his testimony and for the time he devoted to filming.

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