All plug-in Volvos will be part of the Recharge line

Volvo hopes to increase its electrified vehicle sales to 20% by the end of 2020.

Steven Ewing Former managing editor
Steven Ewing spent his childhood reading car magazines, making his career as an automotive journalist an absolute dream job. After getting his foot in the door at Automobile while he was still a teenager, Ewing found homes on the mastheads at Winding Road magazine, Autoblog and Motor1.com before joining the CNET team in 2018. He has also served on the World Car Awards jury. Ewing grew up ingrained in the car culture of Detroit -- the Motor City -- before eventually moving to Los Angeles. In his free time, Ewing loves to cook, binge trash TV and play the drums.
Steven Ewing
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2019 Volvo V60
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2019 Volvo V60

Whether it's a plug-in hybrid or a fully electric vehicle, in Volvo speak, it's now a Recharge.


Volvo's brand-new, all-electric XC40 is technically called the XC40 Recharge. But as it turns out, Recharge isn't a designation being saved purely for this EV. The Swedish automaker announced Wednesday that all of its electrified offerings will now be bundled into the Recharge line. Whether it's a plug-in hybrid or a full EV, Recharge is how Volvo will identify its electrified offerings within its portfolio.

"From early 2020, customers entering the Volvo Cars website will first be asked whether they want a Volvo Recharge car or not," the company said in a statement Wednesday. "We have said this several times before: For Volvo Cars, the future is electric," company CEO Håkan Samuelsson added, and this will trickle down right to the dealer experience.

Where things start to (potentially) get confusing is in the naming structure. A Volvo USA representative told Roadshow that while "Recharge" will apply to both PHEVs and EVs, if there's an instance where both exist in the same model line, there will be further differentiation.

It's still not finalized, but plug-in hybrids could continue to use the T-based naming -- T8, T8, etc. -- while the full EVs will get P-based nomenclature. Note the badge on the back of the new XC40 EV, for example, which says "P8." Therefore, when something like, say, the new XC90 EV launches in 2022, we'll have the XC90 T8 Recharge (plug-in) and the XC90 P8 Recharge (EV). Gas-only vehicles -- or ones with Volvo's upcoming mild-hybrid system -- will likely use B badges. Yes, this sounds a little confusing to us, too.

To further promote its Recharge line, Volvo said in a statement that all of its plug-in hybrid models will receive free electricity for one year, "provided through a refund for the average electricity cost during that period."

The overall goal here is to increase electrified vehicle sales. Right now, about 4% of all Volvos sold in the US are plug-ins. By the end of 2020, Volvo said it hopes to increase that number to 20%.

Volvo XC40 Recharge becomes brand's first battery-electric car

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