The Boston Fire Department received a Volvo XC40 Recharge for training use. This is the second time Volvo donated to help train first responders on rescuing people from accidents involving battery-electric vehicles. These vehicles will also be used to improve the understanding of post-accident safety procedures.
As more BEVs hit the road, emergency personnel must adapt extraction procedures and learn how to safely work around the large main drive battery and high-voltage wirings. The XC40 Recharge donated by Volvo will be used to highlight key components and areas where first responders should cut into the vehicle to get to its occupants.
Certain vehicles, including the XC40, make use of ultra-high-strength steel, which requires more specialized extrication procedures. Volvo’s safety design elements also protect those getting passengers out of the vehicle after an accident. These include a dedicated battery safety cage and independently sealed and cooled modules aimed at preventing damages and leaks. Brightly colored high-voltage wiring is used so first responders can easily see them. The deactivation switch is also easy to access so that the high voltage power can be shut off right away.
This isn’t the first time Volvo has donated one of its BEVs to train first responders and firefighters. The Swedish brand gave one to the New York fire department for safety training and practice on how to safely extract people out of the cabin after an accident.
“As we continue to see the rise in all-electric vehicles on our roadways, it is important to give our first responders the tools they need to be able to perform their emergency procedures effectively and to keep everyone involved safe,” said Eric Miller, vice president of the Northeast Region for Volvo Car USA. “Volvo Cars is proud to provide the Boston Fire Department with an XC40 Recharge so they can continue to develop these procedures that are vital to the work they are doing on a daily basis.”
Jack Dempsey, the fire commissioner of the Boston Fire Department, thanked Volvo for contributing one of its BEVs to use for training first responders. He also noted auto extrication comes with numerous hazards to firefighters and accident victims and that this vehicle will help the department prepare for future incidents involving electrified vehicles.
Built on Volvo Car Group’s CMA architecture, the XC40 Recharge is the brand’s first all-electric model. The only version available in North America is the AWD dual-motor variant with 402 hp and 487 lb-ft of torque. Its battery pack has a total capacity of 78 kWh but only 75 kWh is usable. Unlike vehicles on a dedicated BEV platform, the XC40 Recharge has a T-shaped pack that takes advantage of areas where certain components of internal combustion versions are located at. It shares its powertrain with the pricier but more stylish C40 Recharge and the Polestar 2 sports sedan.
On a single charge, the Volvo XC40 Recharge can travel up to 223 miles. Over-the-air (OTA) updates have been steadily increasing the crossover’s efficiency since it first debuted in 2019. Volvo says the XC40 Recharge can DC charge at up to 150 kW, enabling it to get to 80% in around 40 minutes. On a level 2 AC charger, charging speeds top out at 11 kW, meaning you need to plug it overnight.