Now Reading
Electricity courses through its veins, and its skin has that touch of compassion

Electricity courses through its veins, and its skin has that touch of compassion

Tessa R. Salazar

Not many automobiles can be described as such. But I can say, now that it’s going all-out in its efforts to electrify its entire vehicle lineup and sparing no expense in removing animal-sourced leather from its cars’ interiors, Swedish carmaker Volvo fits that bill.

The Philippine market will soon get a feel of what this is all about, as Volvo Philippines is about to launch two new models—the C40 Recharge Twin and the XC40 Recharge Twin— on October 4. Apart from these two being both purely electric, their interiors are also furnished with T-Tec, which is not sourced from animals.

In a statement, Volvo Philippines President and CEO Atty. Albert Arcilla said that he and his team are “thrilled” to introduce the “twins,” so called since the two share similarities that highlight the Volvo DNA running in their electric veins, which ultimately express the carmaker’s ambition to become a fully electric car company by 2030.

The two models share identical dimensions and the same platform. At their core, the twins also run on twin motors that generate 408 horsepower and 660 N-m of torque. Both are all-wheel drive, sporting an in-house developed 183kW permanent magnet e-motor on the rear axle and a new 117kW asynchronous electric motor at the front.

This configuration, paired with an 82kWh battery pack and overall efficiency improvements in battery cooling, means the XC40 Recharge Twin Motor AWD can now drive up to 537 km on a single charge, while the C40 Recharge Twin Motor AWD can go as far as 549 km (as determined by the worldwide harmonized light vehicle test procedure, or WLTP).

These are impressive numbers, no doubt. But for me, what sets Volvo apart has been its compassionate approach to new-generation, new-energy mobility.

In 2021, Reuters quoted Robin Page, Volvo’s head of design: “We’ve got a new generation of customers coming through, they’re far more interested in the products they buy and having an ethical story behind them. They want to understand where the materials come from.”

Volvo has said that it has recognized customer concerns over animal welfare issues in the leather industry, and the environmental impact of cattle farming. This clamor to end the suffering of animals for their skins, and to mitigate animal farming’s impact on global climate change, had prompted Volvo to use T-Tec upholstery, a material specially developed for Volvo Cars and inspired by sportswear and modern travel accessories. So, parallel to its commitment to be all-electric by 2030, Volvo has also declared to go totally leather-free or vegan-friendly by 2030, by offering T-Tec and other biobased and recycled materials.

See Also

Fun fact: The first Volvo electric car, the little-known Elbil, was launched in 1976. Volvo began experimenting with compact electric powertrains in the 1970s, and by the middle of the decade, had developed two working prototypes—a two-seater transport version intended for mail delivery and a four-seater city car.

Volvo Philippines said that Volvo Cars has been the first established car maker to commit to all-out electrification and sell only pure electric cars by 2030. Already by 2025, it aims for half of its global volume to consist of pure electric cars.

In the Philippines, Volvo had been the first luxury car brand to bring in plug-in hybrid vehicles in the market. In 2022, Volvo PH introduced a lineup of mild hybrid vehicles, making the company the first luxury car brand to offer an all-electrified range in the country.

Volvo Philippines President and CEO Atty. Albert Arcilla