The Concept Recharge is almost guilt-free.
Volvo held its first Volvo Cars Tech Moment presentation a few months ago, touting the ways it would become a leaner, meaner, greener car company. It was mostly about collecting data in real time to make driving safer. But during that, Volvo previewed the Volvo Concept Recharge in a few pictures. Today we get a full look at the electric wagon, inside and out.
Volvo says that it's using sustainable materials, including the tires, which were made from recycled and renewable ingredients. It improved its aerodynamics too, and the company believes it can "reduce a car's lifecycle CO2 impact by 80 percent versus a 2018 Volvo XC60, without losing the inherent premium qualities that Volvo cars have become known for."
"As we enter the age of the electric car, how far you can drive on a full charge will be a key consideration," said Owen Ready, head of strategic and brand design at Volvo Cars. "The easy approach is to add more batteries, but it is not the same as simply adding a bigger fuel tank today - batteries add weight and increase carbon footprint. Instead we have to increase overall efficiency to increase range. With Concept Recharge we explore the tension between the need for efficiency and the desire for the same space, convenience and driving experience as in today's SUVs."
Theoretically the Volvo Concept Recharge, when charged with renewable energy, would have an overall life cycle CO2 impact of less than 10 tons. That's partially due to the also-renewable interior, which has natural materials including Swedish wool, lightweight composites and other environmentally responsible, low-impact materials.
The seat cushions are made of cellulose, from plants, which is durable and soft, and allows the company to use less plastic. The seatbacks, headrests and part of the steering wheel use a material called Nordico, which is made from "bio-based and recycled ingredients that come from sustainable forests in Sweden and Finland, providing a CO2 footprint that is 74% lower than leather," according to Volvo.
It also uses flax composite, from linseed fibers too, both inside and for the front and rear bumpers, and sill moldings. Those special tires are from Pirelli and a made from 94% fossil-free materials like natural rubber, bio-silica, bio-resin and rayon.
"With the Concept Recharge, we've created a comfortable and functional family space," said Lisa Reeves, head of interior design. "The cabin offers sophisticated forms through the use of natural materials and the harmonization of textures and tones, reflecting the timeless elegance of premium Scandinavian design."
The Concept Recharge seems to take some design cues from the XC40 Recharge, which is fine. It has a little more wagon in it, and definitely looks more like a concept, which is fine too. We'd like to hear a good name for it, as Volvo said it's going to ditch the alphanumeric scheme soon. How about the Volvo Glacier? It might not denote the speed, but at least the color's right. Or maybe, the Volvo Dovre, you can look that one up.