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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I came across this chart in the XC40 Recharge Owner's Manual. If I'm reading it correctly, the car will get about half its rated range when it's really cold outside and you're driving at highway speeds.

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Does equipping an XC40 Recharge with a heat pump substantially increase its cold weather range? Or is the heat pump basically useless at 14 deg F?
 

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First off -- from my EV experience (quite extensive, including 12 Tesla vehicles) you will see about 35% range loss in weather below freezing. Worse in single digits, not "as bad" in 20-30F range. But not half the range, unless your'e blasting the heat.

As for the range benefits of a heat pump that is usually single digit benefits (3-5% of that range loss comes back). In our cars I'd expect you might get 10-15 miles more range with versus without the heat pump, in below freezing temps. Based on data I've ready with other EVs that added heat pumps over the years.
 

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I came across this chart in the XC40 Recharge Owner's Manual. If I'm reading it correctly, the car will get about half its rated range when it's really cold outside and you're driving at highway speeds.
What highway speeds are you thinking about? It looks like the difference narrows substantially at 100 km/h (about 62 mph). If you do a lot of 40 km/h (25 mph) driving, you might be more out of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What highway speeds are you thinking about? It looks like the difference narrows substantially at 100 km/h (about 62 mph). If you do a lot of 40 km/h (25 mph) driving, you might be more out of luck.
Well that is true. Maybe my question should have been less focused on highway speeds. Because from the chart it looks like range suffers pretty substantially when it gets cold. No matter what speed you're driving.
 

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Another thing to consider (though tangential to the conversation): at speed, aerodynamics matter more as temperature drops (as air density increases...).
 

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I think that as others have said, the biggest determinant is how aggressive you are with the cabin heater. There's a reason EVs have heated seats and steering wheels -- they're way more efficient at keeping you warm. We had a Bolt for almost four years (three Minnesota winters) and yes, we saw as much as a 40% reduction in range when my spouse would blast the cabin heat at 72... when I drove it, it was better, but there is still a drop. Even on days when it was -20F the car would still get at least 50% range or more.

We are hoping the heat pump gives us some more range, but as OP asked, not sure at what temperature it's a moot point.
 
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When cold I want an option to just blow air on the windshield. No added heat, just move the air over it to keep from fogging (wish it had a heated windshield). If it's 28 degrees outside I will be wearing a coat and hat... I don't need extra heat for a 15 minute drive (seats and steering wheel are great), but I do need to be able to see out and to keep breathing. To echo the previous comment, my wife would need the heat on.
 

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With a timer set in the morning, that should nullify most of the losses for the first half of a commute. Cabin heated, seats and steering wheel warmed, batteries pre-heated. So realistically cold weather should only impact one direction of a commute. My wife's commute is about 90 miles per day (45 each way) so we definitely don't want to see crazy low ranges. What I do wonder about is if pre-heating the car with a timer when off a charger is more efficient than via driving (doesn't seem like it would be).
 

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With a timer set in the morning, that should nullify most of the losses for the first half of a commute. Cabin heated, seats and steering wheel warmed, batteries pre-heated. So realistically cold weather should only impact one direction of a commute. My wife's commute is about 90 miles per day (45 each way) so we definitely don't want to see crazy low ranges. What I do wonder about is if pre-heating the car with a timer when off a charger is more efficient than via driving (doesn't seem like it would be).
I was pondering the pre heating when off a charger.

Only thing I can think of is you are getting the battery to the correct temperature without making it so the heavy work of moving the car.

This seems slightly dubious. I would imagine the battery would warm up fast due to the driving load. So not an expert in this.

Could it be that pre heating and conditioning is only an advantage if it Is plugged in?
 
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I'd like that know what is more efficient overall aka what uses less kWh from my wall. Assuming that there is enough range available just driving, or preconditioning to get the battery and cabin to ideal temperature. I think that just driving would use less total power. Also at what temperature does the heat pump work vs resistive heating?
 

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Here's a recent thread I had started on the topic of the heat pump performance in cold climates.
Best for Canadian cold climate (Winnipeg) - 2021 (no HP)...

In it I link to a bulletin our dealer provided which states the operational temperature range of 5-25C (41-77F), so it is likely that for cold climates that are routinely below the minimum temp, that the heat pump will not offer any benefit over the electric resistance heating. The bulletin also recommends that owners use the vehicle preconditioning while plugged in to achieve optimum range.

I also link to a volvo statement that describes the range benefit around 10% (depending on conditions) which seems consistent with cold weather range tests of other vehicles with optional heat pump.

Here is an admittedly imperfect test of the VW ID3 which shows around 9% range benefit:
 

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I also link to a volvo statement that describes the range benefit around 10% (depending on conditions) which seems consistent with cold weather range tests of other vehicles with optional heat pump.
That would be great news— that’d be about 20 miles for our ~200 EPA (USA) range. I’d be happy to see just half of that. Clearly it wont “add” range to the EPA — but to not “lose” that range to the winter/cold/snow season. We’ve had Tesla vehicles in the garage for the last 8 winters, amongst other cars. Looking forward to seeing how the Volvo compares on many levels.
 

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Slightly off topic: Anyone know if the heat pump has a positive range impact during summer months while using A/C?
I don’t think so. FWIW the AC compressor IS a heat pump - it’s just pumping heat from inside the car to outside the car when it runs in AC mode.

I think what Volvo mean when they say the car has a heat pump is that they have now included the valves etc to enable the refrigerant to run in both directions (one way for AC and the other for heat)...so really when people have a car with a heat pump it is likely using the existing AC compressor with some new hardware to enable it to also heat the car in winter. The reason the range is improved in winter is instead of using 100% resistive heating, when the temperatures are not too cold it also uses the compressor to pull heat from outside and pump it into the cabin...more efficient than resistive heating.
 

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That would be great news— that’d be about 20 miles for our ~200 EPA (USA) range. I’d be happy to see just half of that. Clearly it wont “add” range to the EPA — but to not “lose” that range to the winter/cold/snow season. We’ve had Tesla vehicles in the garage for the last 8 winters, amongst other cars. Looking forward to seeing how the Volvo compares on many levels.
I did also find this video of a cold weather test of the XC40 Recharge in cold weather, though I'm not sure if that vehicle was equipped with the heat pump or not... at highway speeds he averages 35.5 kWh/100 Km consumption and estimates about 195 Km (121 mile) range after subtracting a further 5% for heat loss.

 

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I did also find this video of a cold weather test of the XC40 Recharge in cold weather, though I'm not sure if that vehicle was equipped with the heat pump or not... at highway speeds he averages 35.5 kWh/100 Km consumption and estimates about 195 Km (121 mile) range after subtracting a further 5% for heat loss.
Just based on the photo in the link above (have not watched) -20C Is around -4 F… which here in Cleveland, we might get single digit temps for a week — and wind chills def get -15 to -20 F … but we would never have negative temps ambient w/o wind chill factors. My understanding is that each drop below freezing is sort of exponential. Still 121 miles from the original 208 miles is over 56% loss eek!!!

This is going to be an interesting winter. May prove a good thing I have a Jeep 4XE PHEV for the moment … the benefits may be more than i realized. (To supplement our XC40 P8)
 

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Just based on the photo in the link above (have not watched) -20C Is around -4 F… which here in Cleveland, we might get single digit temps for a week — and wind chills def get -15 to -20 F … but we would never have negative temps ambient w/o wind chill factors. My understanding is that each drop below freezing is sort of exponential. Still 121 miles from the original 208 miles is over 56% loss eek!!!

This is going to be an interesting winter. May prove a good thing I have a Jeep 4XE PHEV for the moment … the benefits may be more than i realized. (To supplement our XC40 P8)
Agreed, I'm currently in Vancouver, BC but next year I'll be taking our 2021 XC40 (with no heat pump) back home to Winnipeg, so I'll be sure to post our cold weather experiences from there too! I think one important bit to note for the test in that video is also that they were travelling fairly quickly, highway speed 100-120 km/h, I think 112 km/h avg (70 mph), which seems to jive with the chart posted at the beginning of this chat.

Did you get the factory winter tires from the dealer?
 

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I did also find this video of a cold weather test of the XC40 Recharge in cold weather, though I'm not sure if that vehicle was equipped with the heat pump or not... at highway speeds he averages 35.5 kWh/100 Km consumption and estimates about 195 Km (121 mile) range after subtracting a further 5% for heat loss.

That video was made Jan 7, 2021 when the car first came out, there have been 7 updates since and with 1.7 updates pushing preheating capabilities I suspect we will do much better than those numbers.
 

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Did you get the factory winter tires from the dealer?
We’re going to start off the season with the factory tires, which I’ve had on other SUVs before. They are a good all season with “decent” winter/snow performance.We are right on the cusp of the snow belt here, and right off Lake Erie. We can get a foot of snow in 24 hours (30 cm) but more often its about half that. And the roads are usually fairly well cleared by us. So I don’t think we need dedicated snow tires; but we’re going to see how these fare first before getting a 2nd set of wheels/tires.
 
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