… Back to the original topic, searching for an electric car.
Yesterday, I drove a Volvo C40
. It's a small SUV or Crossover UV that seems to compete with the Tesla Model Y. I liked it about the same as the Model Y. The C40 is slightly smaller, with a little less interior room than the Tesla Y. Getting in & out of the front seat was good, but the entry for the rear seats has not enough head room for me. The roof line on the C40 slopes down as you look further back from cabin center to account for that. To me it's roof line/rear hatch resemble a hatchback where the hatch has a noticeable slope forward.
I also looked at but didn't drive a Volvo XC40
. It shares the same batteries, electric motors, and chassis as the C40. It's roof line is essentially flat, more like a typical SUV. The rear hatch angles slightly forward, but not so much as the C40. The rear passenger headroom and rear cargo space are larger. Both cars are similarly priced.
The driver interface, or car/computer operating system, on both the C40 & XC40, was straight forward and not an obstacle to learn. It made use of a more typical looking dashboard plus a 9.5" center screen. So it was more traditional car-like than the Tesla which has only a large 15" center screen and no other display at all. After test drives in both cars, I don't see a problem with using either one. I found both cars easy to park in my somewhat tight garage. Both have a good turning radius, and their outside camera/sensors help out quite a lot with getting through the garage door without a problem.
Both the Volvos and the Tesla has the same battery capacity, 75 kWh, and dual electric motors with AWD. But the Tesla's driving range is said to be 325 miles, and the Volvos are about 225 miles. I guess the Volvos are heavier vehicles than the Tesla. Is the Tesla made with more plastic? Interestingly, the Volvos are significantly cheaper than the Tesla. The batteries and electric motors are similar, so I believe the Tesla is overpriced.
It will come down which cars are eligible for the $7,500 Federal EV Tax rebate. The details of that are complex and I won't go into them all here (maybe in another thread). Read it for yourself here:
As sales of electric vehicles continue to surge, many new and prospective customers have questions about qualifying for federal tax...
The old rebate which expires at the end of 2022 provided a rebate for the Volvos, but not for the Tesla, because Volvo had not yet sold 200,000 cars and Tesla has. After 1 Jan 2023, when the new law takes effect, Volvo becomes ineligible for the rebate because not enough of it is made In the USA. And Tesla becomes eligible again despite the 200,000 car cap, because it is made in the USA. To be eligible for the rebate, new EV cars must sell below $55,000 and new EV SUVs must sell below $80,000. What is not known now is whether the Tesla Model Y will be considered a car or SUV. It would quality for the rebate as a SUV, but not as a car.
If I want that $7,500 rebate for a new Volvo C40 or XC40, I have to act fast. The law requires that I must have fully purchased the new car before the end of this year. That means I must sign all the final purchase papers – and take full possession of the vehicle no later than Dec 31, 2022. A purchase order, without delivery, isn't enough. That rebate is more than 10% of the MSRP of those cars!