Kris Rifa recently had an opportunity to range test the Volvo C40 Recharge in challenging winter conditions ("wet snow/slushy"), at 0-2°C.
However, this time not everything went as it should and the very end was a little bit dangerous.
The highway range tests are conducted at a target speed of 110 km/h (68 mph), over 233 km (145 miles).
The car, equipped with a 78 kWh (75 kWh usable) and a dual-motor all-wheel-drive system, has a WLTP range rating is 448 km (278 miles), while the EPA range is 226 mi (364 km).
In theory, the range far exceeds the length of the route, however, winter tires and weather reduce the range.
When starting at 97% state-of-charge (SOC), the computer indicated that the car will arrive at the endpoint with 12% SOC.
At the turning point (halfway), the car had 54% SOC (down from 97% SOC), which appeared like enough to safely continue.
However, the problems started below 10% SOC, as the car entered into turtle mode (limited power mode).
A few minutes later, at 7% SOC (30 km of range estimated), a serious power reduction was reported, as the car struggled to maintain 90 km/h or so. At this point, it was just 8 km to go.
3 minutes later, at 3% SOC and only 4.1 km to go, the power was severely limited, which required to drive on the shoulder with hazard lights at speed of only 27 km/h (17 mph). That's a pretty surprising and dangerous outcome.
Kris Rifa concluded that in these particular conditions, at an average speed of 112.5 km/h (70 mph), the car is good for 225 km (140 miles) until it's no longer able to maintain the desired speed. The energy consumption was pretty high at 31.4 kWh/100 km or over 314 Wh/km (505 Wh/mile).
It's difficult to say what exactly causes such significant power reduction - maybe a combination of low temperature, high energy consumption (voltage drop) and/or some BMS calibration, which results in issues at low state-of-charge.
Let's recall that the car is equipped with a pretty big battery - 78 kWh. Even driving at over 100 km/h (which usually requires more than 30 kW of power), the battery should be running just fine at 0.5C - not a particularly high load.
But one thing is sure, it's not a good thing if the turtle mode appears at 10% SOC or so, and you can't go faster than 27 km/h (17 mph) at 3% SOC.