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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Howdy everyone,

I've been following this forum for months and after seeing several topics and posts about other owner's experience, I figured I'd share mine should it be helpful for someone on the fence about making the leap from an ICE to a BEV vehicle. I've owned by XC40 Recharge Ultimate for just over a month now. Before the Recharge I had the 2019 XC40 T5 R-Design w/ Polestar ("T5P") on a 3 year lease and put just under 30k miles on it. Here are my experiences in switching from ICE to BEV, purchasing the Recharge, and after taking it on multiple long distance trips (>200 miles).

ICE to BEV

Having previously driven the XC40 T5P, the switch to the Recharge BEV was relatively seamless. I was familiar with the way the vehicle drove, the space, all the cool little practical features and touches, and how to use the infotainment system. Overall, they're practically the same vehicles. The only notable differences are 1) the drivetrain and 2) the infotainment.

Drivetrain
This is pretty self-explanatory. The Recharge is insanely fast compared to the already peppy T5P. It took about a week to remember I didn't have to push a start button to go; now that i've mastered it, its great. I don't have to look or plan as far ahead when merging or changing lanes now in the Recharge as I did in the T5P. You press the accelerator and you get a steady "swoosh" of power quickly propelling you forward. You look back and everyone that was driving next to you is suddenly in the rearview mirror. I had the 20" wheels on the T5P too (as I do with the Recharge) and surprisingly the ride quality is better in the Recharge. It's also quieter when cruising around town. My music sounds better because of it. It also feels like i'm driving around a quick little tank now - it feels more planted and less floaty over bumps and hills now. I attribute that to the increased weight - but I like it. The one pedal driving makes the Recharge 100x better while driving around town and in stop and go traffic. I've noticed when I get home after sitting in 45+ minute stop-and-go traffic, i'm much more relaxed and less tense. It's a smoother ride, less jerking and less foot movement compared to the T5P.


Infotainment
Learning how to use the new Android-based infotainment system wasn't too difficult since we're a dual-ecosystem household (Apple & Android products). It's relatively similar to Volvo Sensus system. Rather than swiping the screen left for vehicle controls, there's a gear icon in the bottom right. Rather than swiping the screen right for applications, there's a small application icon in the bottom left. Once you learn those basics - it's no more difficult to use while driving. My biggest complaints with the Android-based system are those that were repeated throughout this forum: 1) it's buggy, 2) some system setting are unnecessarily buried (i'm looking at you Pilot Assist's Steering Assist), and 3) it's currently lacking features my previous ICE XC40 had (trip history, etc.). All those problems could possibly be fixed with OTA. One hopes.

Purchasing Experience

Since I knew it was going to have to be ordered online, I made sure to swing by the local dealer to test drive one first. The test drive was standard. They collected my drivers license and we sped off. I didn't drive too hard with the sales advisor in the car. I spent most of the test drive playing with and learning how to use the one pedal drive. In speaking with the advisor on the drive and back at the dealership, it was clear they did not know much about it. They just kept saying "it's basically the same as the T5P, but electric and faster." It was kind of a turn-off, but I try not to let my experiences with an inexperienced sales rep deter me - and I didn't clearly. After the drive, I immediately went home and placed the order online through the dealership's website INSTEAD of the Volvo Cars website. This was because I saw they had a vehicle in-stock (or in route) with the same build I wanted. Ordering it through the dealer's website allowed them to reserve the vehicle at the dock and have it immediately shipped to them (or so i'm told). The vehicle took about 2 weeks to arrive from the dock, where it purportedly was when I placed the order, to the dealership. I had been communicating via email with my sales rep negotiating terms and discounts during that time. When the vehicle arrived, it was prepped and the paperwork was ready for me to sign - all was in good order. After signing everything, a Volvo rep walked me to my new Recharge where they walked me through the infotainment system, setup my Volvo On Call, connected my phone and Volvo App, and walked/inspected the vehicle with me. The vehicle was charging this whole time, but I only left with a ~60% charge by the time we finished (ChargePoint ~6w charger.) Again, the rep walking me through the system settings wasn't knowledgable on the Recharge specific stuff, but they managed through it and I figured what they didn't tell me I would learn on my own. At the time of purchase, the sales rep said I could choose between a free ChargePoint home charger or a $500 credit on their network. I chose the credit having already installed a 14-50 NEMA outlet at home. It wasn't until 2 days later I received an email informing me they no longer partner with ChargePoint but instead have a promo with Electrify America for 250kwh of free charging for 3 years; which I gladly accepted. However, they had no idea how to get the promo code to me. They kept referring me to Volvo Cars USA, I spoke with VCUSA who directed me to the dealership. I finally got in touch with someone at VCUSA who sent me the code approximately 2 weeks after delivery.


Driving & Road Trip Experience

I've taken the Recharge on 5 long distance trips. I'm quantifying that as trips exceeding 200 miles round trip. I live in the Northeast and it's been between 30-55 degrees here since delivery. I keep it charged at home to 80% everyday, do not charge while parked at work, and primarily used DC fast chargers on these trips and trickle charged at my destination (110v). I would charge to 100% prior to leaving home for all trips.

I95 South/Northbound
One trip was from NY to NC to visit family. It's ~450 miles one way. I charged ~4 times on the drive down in clear ~45 degree weather and heavy traffic. The drive was calm and enjoyable, despite the heavy traffic. As I mentioned before, one pedal driving in stop-and-go traffic coupled with Pilot Assist on the highway helped A LOT. Charging was uneventful, which is exactly what I wanted. I used ABRP to plan my stops, Plug-Share to see if there were any chargers in the area ABRP missed just in case I needed back-ups. I charge 100% of the trip down/up I95 using EA's network. I got lucky and was usually the first or second to arrive to each station. For the most part, charging was easy to initiate. I only had one issue where the EA app froze on my phone and the charging station thought I was still plugged in charging so it started incurring an idle fee; which EA cancelled without issue after a quick phone call. Charging was fast. I didn't keep records, but charging speeds ranged between 60-140kw per session. I planned my trips to arrive between 20-30% and would charge to 80%. The charging stops were great because it gave us a moment to stretch our legs, grab a bite to eat, use the restrooms, and walk the dogs. EA still needs to build more stations along the I95 corridor because there's a pretty large gap between Richmond, VA and Raleigh, NC. Overall, it wasn't as bad as one would expect. The ~30 mins it took to charge at each session went by quickly. I used that time to plan my next charging stop. I took the advice of another poster on this forum to pre-enter my next stop in Google maps to see how much charge I would have remaining as it was charging. Google maps worked swimmingly well. The remaining charge upon arriving at the destination was pretty accurate, if not overly conservative by 5-10% on average. Once I figured that out, I felt comfortable leaving my EA charging session early (once Google maps said I'd arrive with ~10%). I'd almost always arrive with more percentage than Google estimated. So no range anxiety here. But it's important to note that winter weather range loss is real, probably around ~30% loss. I imagine I can make the drive up/down with fewer charging stops once spring/summer come around.

NY Sawmill Parkway
One trip was to the Berkshires MA area up the Sawmill. For those not familiar, the Sawmill is a horrible highway with narrow blind curves and hills. It's like racing at Daytona but without pace cars. I drove the entire ~200 mile round trip on Pilot Assist and had to stop twice (once going there and once coming back home). I used NY state's new Evolve network to DC fast charge. It accepts all major credit cards, no phone app to download. Using an Evolve charger was no different than using a gas pump. Plug it in, swipe card, and it charged from ~40%-80% in no time. I used that time to pop into a local grocery store to use the bathroom and grab a snack. Charging speeds averaged between 55-100kw per session.

NY to Boston
My latest trip was for work; NY to Boston. This was another ~400 round trip drive. I left home with 100% and charged once each way (there and back). The hotel I stayed in had a EV charger which allowed me to have 100% charge when I left to head home. Again, I used the EA network which worked well and charged quickly (~100kwh avg). Both stations (one in Auburn, MA the other in Manchester, CT) were located near stores/shopping so I could use the restroom and grab food while I charged.

Issues

So far, my issues have been limited to the technology in the vehicle knocks on wood.

Volvo Cars App
My VC app is laggy and for the first few weeks wouldn't update to show the vehicle's status or charge. Tech support instructed me to uninstall and reinstall the app. After which my VC app was no longer paired with the vehicle, forcing me to factory reset the car on 2 different occasions. It's also missing key features my T5P had before, but I'm confident they'll eventually make their way back into the app. The pre-conditioning schedules I'd set would often disappear, so I just stopped using them and manually pre-condition before I leave. Aside from that, the app (IMO) is pretty useless until they add some of those features back. They recently sent a OTA for scheduled charging, which I don't use, but its nice to have?

Infotainment
As mentioned before, its buggy. My biggest issue has been with the system going into "deep sleep mode" one day rendering the keys and internet useless. Vehicle wouldn't recognize the key to unlock the car, forcing me to use the physical key to unlock it. Then to drive I had to place the fob in the center armrest. The internet didn't work, meaning no maps, no audio, nothing. I couldn't unplug the charger with the key either, I had to unlock it from the infotainment (which thankfully still worked). The dealership fixed it after a ~3 hour visit and software update. No word on what caused it. My guess is it has to do with my vehicle stalling during the 1.8 OTA update, which just so happen to fall on the same date/time of the AWS outage. I assume it was mid-update when the outage happened, bricking my car until the dealer could fix it? I don't know, pure conjecture there.

Another issue with the infotainment was the audio dropping. I get in, listen to music through the native Spotify app on the infotainment, get out to run an errand, and when I get back in - no music. The screen shows the song is still play but there's no audio. Resetting the TCAM didn't work either. I needed to park the car, get out, lock it, and come back to restart it so it would work again. Strange. Again, not sure what happened and it's only happened twice.

Final issue is me nitpicking, but I don't understand why they removed the Pilot Assist Steering Assist on/off from the steering wheel to the vehicle's system setting on the infotainment. I often like to turn it on while on long, straight roads (I95) and off while on curvy, narrow roads (Sawmill). It's unnecessarily tedious the way its setup now - but i'm hopeful it'll be added back with a OTA update.

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Well, looking back at what I wrote, I did not intend for it to be this lengthy. I at least hope someone has some of their questions answered. If not, feel free to respond or message me. Happy and safe driving everyone!
 

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quality first post here. well done sir. there is a road trip photos thread where we recharge nuts love to ogle pictures of other cars charging (lol) in pretty or not pretty locations - it doesn't matter! feel free to throw some photos up, we'd love to see them. again, thank you for your post and i look forward to reading more.
 

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2021 White XC40 Recharge P8
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I see you have come to appreciate the duality of the XC40 Recharge P8 -- superb mechanical performance marred by insipid technical performance.

I enjoy my P8 as a daily driver (I'm retired, so I don't have the 5 days a week daily commute). I, too, have avoided major issues -- tech or mechanical -- during the 7 months of ownership (touche bois). I talked myself out of using the P8 for a 600 mile trip to Ohio because of having a challenging charging scenario and timing the pick up of someone at an airport mid-trip. I'm looking forward to doing a road trip in the P8 since it is comfortable (e.g., the retractable leg bolsters) and fun to drive. My P8 is currently "in a coma" in my garage for 90 days while I'm out of state. It will be interesting to see how easy or difficult it will be to bring it back to life. There is a pending OTA update to download and install when I return, and the loss of LTE/wifi connectivity has left me blind as to SoC.

Welcome to the club.
 

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Lovely writing.

It seems with the P8 it is a great car to be lucky in (and have no issues like me) or a terrible car to be unlucky in. As time goes on there are more and more horror stories. So hard to tell if they are the unlucky or the not lucky.

So be lucky and enjoy :)

It might be true that I am scared to badmouth my car ever as I do not want to join the bad group. Plus my car is called Margo (from the magicians) so ….
 

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My wife’s XC40 has been basically rock solid, but the one I just got, not so much so far. Within 24 hours(I just picked it up the evening of 12/17) I had the gps/lte go out and the rear passenger door wouldn’t open with the outer or inner handle. I took it to the dealer on 12/20 and they got the door opened and it working. The evening of 12/20 it failed again and back to the dealer I go today. This will be the second dealer trip within a week and I’m guessing it might be there for a while.

Bright side I have a C40 deposit, so if my XC40 ends up being a lemon, maybe they’ll just swap me out for the C40. 🙄🤷🏻‍♂️
 

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Excellent report! This gives me great insight regarding what I might encounter when my C40 arrives.
Questions? I assume the OEM tires were different from your previous XC40. Are they all-season? Do you like how they perform in colder weather? Did you or will you purchase winter tires? If so, why, or why not? Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Excellent report! This gives me great insight regarding what I might encounter when my C40 arrives.
Questions? I assume the OEM tires were different from your previous XC40. Are they all-season? Do you like how they perform in colder weather? Did you or will you purchase winter tires? If so, why, or why not? Thank you!
Thanks! Congrats on your C40 order. You’re going to love it! Please share your experiences once you get it.

I believe the OEMs are All Seasons. Where I live in NY, we don’t get much snow. But the snow we do get is quickly plowed away and I try to avoid the roads/other drivers. For that reason, I don’t currently plan on purchasing winter tires for the Recharge. For the limited driving I plan on doing in the snow, I’m sure the all seasons will suffice. If I lived somewhere that snowed regularly and didn’t have the ability to work remotely on snow days as I do now, I’d probably purchase proper winter tires. But for this 3 year lease, it’s not worth the expense IMO.
 
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