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Thanks for letting me join the forum. We are in the process of converting our house to solar and our cars to EVs (currently own 2 ICE BMW SUVs). One high-speed garage charging (JuiceBox) has been installed as part of the larger solar installation and a Fusion Red C40 has been ordered with delivery expected in April. We've never owned a Volvo before (BMW's only since the early 1970s) or an electric vehicle, so looking forward to learning from the ownership experiences shared by members of this forum.
 

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Thanks for letting me join the forum. We are in the process of converting our house to solar and our cars to EVs (currently own 2 ICE BMW SUVs). One high-speed garage charging (JuiceBox) has been installed as part of the larger solar installation and a Fusion Red C40 has been ordered with delivery expected in April. We've never owned a Volvo before (BMW's only since the early 1970s) or an electric vehicle, so looking forward to learning from the ownership experiences shared by members of this forum.
Hey John,
I see you have found our Forum.
Lot of smart owners here.
We have much to learn!
W
 

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2022 XC40 Recharge Twin Fusion Red
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Welcome and hello from Australia! Happy to try and answer any questions you might have. We’ve been driving an EV for 10 years now (converted Volvo 240 wagon) and a couple months ago picked up our Fusion Red XC40 Recharge Twin. Wow, what a car! :) We’ve also had solar panels on our homes for ages, but we have yet to add a home battery system. Would be interested to hear about your solar set-up.
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Thanks Greg. Wow! Your Fusion Red XC40 looks great, which only reinforces our decision to order our C40 in that color. You obviously have a lot of experience with EV's so expect questions from me as we get further along in the process of EV ownership. Right now, I don't even know what questions to ask! :unsure:
Following is an overview of our solar system. Note that we live in Arizona and our house is "Santa Fe" style architecture, which means among other things, that much of the roof is flat. Our system is spec'd to generate approximately the same amount of power as use on an annual basis (in the US, there is no tax benefit to producing substantially more power than you use). Most or our power use is driven by air conditioning in the summer months. During those 3-4 months, we will be using more power than we generate and will need to purchase energy from the utility company. But during the rest of the year, we will generate more power than we use and the surplus will be sold to the utility company at the established buy-back rate. Is that how it works for you in Australia? Like you, we decided not to purchase batteries at this time, because of the cost, but we hope that cost will come down over the next few years because ultimately we want to add batteries to our system so we can get completely off the grid.
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Thanks Greg. Wow! Your Fusion Red XC40 looks great, which only reinforces our decision to order our C40 in that color. You obviously have a lot of experience with EV's so expect questions from me as we get further along in the process of EV ownership. Right now, I don't even know what questions to ask! :unsure:
Following is an overview of our solar system. Note that we live in Arizona and our house is "Santa Fe" style architecture, which means among other things, that much of the roof is flat. Our system is spec'd to generate approximately the same amount of power as use on an annual basis (in the US, there is no tax benefit to producing substantially more power than you use). Most or our power use is driven by air conditioning in the summer months. During those 3-4 months, we will be using more power than we generate and will need to purchase energy from the utility company. But during the rest of the year, we will generate more power than we use and the surplus will be sold to the utility company at the established buy-back rate. Is that how it works for you in Australia? Like you, we decided not to purchase batteries at this time, because of the cost, but we hope that cost will come down over the next few years because ultimately we want to add batteries to our system so we can get completely off the grid. View attachment 2043
Very nice - thanks for the info on your solar system. Out of curiosity, what is the system output in kW? We have 2 systems, one on our garage/workshop and one on our house, for a total of about 5.2 kW. We live in a very temperate climate, and our home is straw bale with super insulation in the roof, so our electricity usage is pretty minimal (more for heating than cooling - we have 2x split system high-efficiency wall unit heat pumps). Over the years we have generated well more than what we’ve used, but like you, it depends on the time of year. Our usage has gone up with the new XC40EV as we’re using that for most of our longer-distance driving now and the petrol (gas) cars are languishing in the garage!

Here they also have a feed-in tariff (what the utility pays you for any electricity you feed into the grid). It used to be quite high, but has steadily dropped over the years. I think now it’s about 6 cents per kWh. Our normal electricity rates are about 28 cents per kWh peak (3PM to 9PM), 18 cents off peak (4AM to 3PM and 9PM to midnight) and 9 cents EV night rate (midnight to 4AM). Of course that’s all AUD, so multiply by about 0.72 for USD. :) The EV night rate is something new for us. We only ever charge the car in off-peak times anyway, and with our solar system we can charge 2 EVs during the day on full solar for the most part (see example below where we plugged in the XC40 at around 9PM, then plugged in our 2nd EV - the converted Volvo 240 - at 11AM. Blue is usage, and yellow is solar generation). It’s all a lot of fun and interesting learning experience!
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Very nice - thanks for the info on your solar system. Out of curiosity, what is the system output in kW? We have 2 systems, one on our garage/workshop and one on our house, for a total of about 5.2 kW. We live in a very temperate climate, and our home is straw bale with super insulation in the roof, so our electricity usage is pretty minimal (more for heating than cooling - we have 2x split system high-efficiency wall unit heat pumps). Over the years we have generated well more than what we’ve used, but like you, it depends on the time of year. Our usage has gone up with the new XC40EV as we’re using that for most of our longer-distance driving now and the petrol (gas) cars are languishing in the garage!

Here they also have a feed-in tariff (what the utility pays you for any electricity you feed into the grid). It used to be quite high, but has steadily dropped over the years. I think now it’s about 6 cents per kWh. Our normal electricity rates are about 28 cents per kWh peak (3PM to 9PM), 18 cents off peak (4AM to 3PM and 9PM to midnight) and 9 cents EV night rate (midnight to 4AM). Of course that’s all AUD, so multiply by about 0.72 for USD. :) The EV night rate is something new for us. We only ever charge the car in off-peak times anyway, and with our solar system we can charge 2 EVs during the day on full solar for the most part (see example below where we plugged in the XC40 at around 9PM, then plugged in our 2nd EV - the converted Volvo 240 - at 11AM. Blue is usage, and yellow is solar generation). It’s all a lot of fun and interesting learning experience!
View attachment 2053
 

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Great info Greg. Our usage is quite a bit higher (extreme summer heat, two large AC units, a swimming pool, all electric house), so our system needed to be larger too. It consists of 64 panels, each rated at 360 W, so the complete system capacity is 23.04 kW (23,040 W-DC). Because the system is brand new and not yet commissioned (scheduled to go on line later this week), we don't have any actual production numbers, but the following graph created by our solar installer indicates actual usage for 2020 vs estimated solar production going forward. Note that the actual 2020 usage does not include any EV charging. The buy-back rate paid by the utility company for surplus power generated by our system will be 10.5 cents per kWh. On-peak hours are Mon-Fri, 3pm-8pm (6.323 cents per kWh), and Off-peak hours are Mon-Fri 8pm-3pm and all day weekends (5.137 cents per kWh).
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Wow, thanks for info. It's nice they pay you a decent feed-in rate! And yes, totally different environment here - very temperate, and we have a very efficient house, so our usage is on the low side for the size of house etc. Great that you're able to put on such a large system! Here we're a bit limited depending on the service - we have single phase so limited by the power co to a 5 kW system. Keep us posted on how things go!
 
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