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2021 XC40 Recharge - Onyx black
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I are debating if it is worth it for us to order a MY2022 xc40 Recharge with the heat pump, or get a slight discount on a MY2021 without the heat pump. Our understanding is that the heat pump is really only effective between 5-25 deg C, so would it even be worth the extra expense given that 2/3 of our year is probably spent below the minimum operational temperature?

Can any cold climate xc40 Recharge owners offer their perspective?

Thanks!
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I'm in Victoria and just got my Recharge so can't really comment, but can comment that most new heat pumps (building ones) are variable speed ones that are effective down to -20C. Here's a quote from a NRCAN paper:

It is important to note that the vast majority of air-source heat pumps have a minimum operating temperature, below which they are unable to operate. For newer models, this can range from between -15°C to -25°C. Below this temperature, a supplemental system must be used to provide heating to the building.

You should do your research to see if the XC40 heat pump is a variable speed one good down to that temperature. I think the temperature range you're talking about 5-25C efficient operation is for the old single speed 100% on or all off heat pumps vice the newer (about 10 years old now) variable speed heat pumps that will go at a constant rate less than 100% for heating or cooling.

The NRCAN paper can be found at: Heating and Cooling With a Heat Pump
 

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From what I have read heat pumps are really an essential part of a fully functioning ev systems. To the point I am really surprised it is optional on the Volvo.

I would get the heat pump as I did when I got my heat pump.

How effective it is or will be for you?… we only have data from other vehicles (Tesla I think) for comparison. Which is apples to oranges. No official data from Volvo which is a little irritating.


Good luck in your choice.
 
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From what I have read heat pumps are really an essential part of a fully functioning ev systems. To the point I am really surprised it is optional on the Volvo.

I would get the heat pump as I did when I got my heat pump.

How effective it is or will be for you?… we only have data from other vehicles (Tesla I think) for comparison. Which is apples to oranges. No official data from Volvo which is a little irritating.


Good luck in your choice.
I think in Canada the first year heat pumps were an option but in my MY22 it's standard.
 

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Oh I thought heat pumps were not originally available at all in Canada. Which made me scratch my head. I must of been wrong.
 
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2022 XC40 Recharge Twin Fusion Red
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IMHO I think you should get the heat pump. It’s a bit of a misnomer really. Every car with A/C most certainly has a “heat pump” that works in one direction - to take heat out of the cabin when the A/C is on. So I guess EV makers are calling it a heat pump when it can also work in reverse, to take latent heat out of the atmosphere and pump it back into the cabin. So really what they are doing is adding a series of valves that allows the refrigerant flow to go in the opposite direction...along with various other hardware. If it doesn’t have this capability (ie. no heat pump for heating), it will have to rely on 100% resistive heat to heat the cabin.

In Australia “reverse-cycle” wall-mounted heat/AC systems in homes are extremely popular...and basically when you tick the “heat pump” box on the options list, that’s what you’re getting in your car. They are much more efficient at heating than a resistive heater, so unless it freezes up due to extreme cold temps, the car will use less power to heat the cabin at almost all times. Resistive heater outputs 1:1 - so if you put in 2500 watts, it will output 2500 watts of heat. A heat pump can have a COP of something like 4 or more (depending on outside temps and the heat pump’s rating), so for 2500 watts of electrical energy input it could put out 10,000 watts of heat. Guess it really depends on how much you value that extra range. If your usual driving is just a daily commute, and you plug in every night and recharge for the next day, you could save the money I guess.

Edit: one thing I don’t know is with the Volvo system, if you get the heat pump, will the car heat better - for example the heat pump may work in conjunction with the resistive heater in cold conditions to heat the car more effectively. I haven’t seen any info on it other than I do know that if you get the “heat pump” the car also still has the resistive heater system.
 

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2021 XC40 Recharge - Onyx black
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm in Victoria and just got my Recharge so can't really comment, but can comment that most new heat pumps (building ones) are variable speed ones that are effective down to -20C. Here's a quote from a NRCAN paper:

It is important to note that the vast majority of air-source heat pumps have a minimum operating temperature, below which they are unable to operate. For newer models, this can range from between -15°C to -25°C. Below this temperature, a supplemental system must be used to provide heating to the building.

You should do your research to see if the XC40 heat pump is a variable speed one good down to that temperature. I think the temperature range you're talking about 5-25C efficient operation is for the old single speed 100% on or all off heat pumps vice the newer (about 10 years old now) variable speed heat pumps that will go at a constant rate less than 100% for heating or cooling.

The NRCAN paper can be found at: Heating and Cooling With a Heat Pump
In talking to a Volvo dealer we were supplied with this bulletin which states the 5-25C operational range, so I'm thinking the newer technology you mention being present in building heat pumps is not yet present in these smaller units.

I am planning a heat pump system for our home though!
 

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2021 XC40 Recharge - Onyx black
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
IMHO I think you should get the heat pump. It’s a bit of a misnomer really. Every car with A/C most certainly has a “heat pump” that works in one direction - to take heat out of the cabin when the A/C is on. So I guess EV makers are calling it a heat pump when it can also work in reverse, to take latent heat out of the atmosphere and pump it back into the cabin. So really what they are doing is adding a series of valves that allows the refrigerant flow to go in the opposite direction...along with various other hardware. If it doesn’t have this capability (ie. no heat pump for heating), it will have to rely on 100% resistive heat to heat the cabin.

In Australia “reverse-cycle” wall-mounted heat/AC systems in homes are extremely popular...and basically when you tick the “heat pump” box on the options list, that’s what you’re getting in your car. They are much more efficient at heating than a resistive heater, so unless it freezes up due to extreme cold temps, the car will use less power to heat the cabin at almost all times. Resistive heater outputs 1:1 - so if you put in 2500 watts, it will output 2500 watts of heat. A heat pump can have a COP of something like 4 or more (depending on outside temps and the heat pump’s rating), so for 2500 watts of electrical energy input it could put out 10,000 watts of heat. Guess it really depends on how much you value that extra range. If your usual driving is just a daily commute, and you plug in every night and recharge for the next day, you could save the money I guess.

Edit: one thing I don’t know is with the Volvo system, if you get the heat pump, will the car heat better - for example the heat pump may work in conjunction with the resistive heater in cold conditions to heat the car more effectively. I haven’t seen any info on it other than I do know that if you get the “heat pump” the car also still has the resistive heater system.
The heat pump would be more efficient for heating than pure electric resistance within its operational range, a typical air source heat pump will usually be about COP 2-3 for heating. When the temp drops below the operational range, a heat pump may not function at all, or be no better than electric resistance heat (it depends on the type, model and settings).
 

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In talking to a Volvo dealer we were supplied with this bulletin which states the 5-25C operational range, so I'm thinking the newer technology you mention being present in building heat pumps is not yet present in these smaller units.

I am planning a heat pump system for our home though!
Thanks for that. Interesting.
 
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