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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'd like to ask Forum owners of the XC60 ER (T6 or T8 versions) the following questions about both the traction battery and the 12-volt battery (the 12-volt issues have been discussed in other threads, but I'd like to get both into a single thread, and to get any updates). I am interested if there are also non-ER Volvo PHEV owners who also drive long periods without their ICE coming on, but I suspect that the question will be more relevant to ER owners, by far.
I'm asking because this is how we drive our PHEVs, and because I'm worried about 12-volt battery drain (and the car possibly not starting) if the ICE is not used for weeks at a time. My special-order XC60 T8 ER has arrived and I've been test-driving it, but I have to decide if I'll buy it or not before getting a chance for any extended driving can take place, so I need input from owners who've had their XC60 ERs for several weeks, at least. We try to go 3-4 weeks without the ICE coming on if possible in local driving. (On average, we will take our PHEVs on longer road trips once every month or two, in which the ICE is needed.)

(1) How long are people driving in electric-only mode (Volvo's "Pure" mode) without the ICE kicking in? I'm looking for people driving locally only for extended periods -- like weeks without the ICE ever coming on in daily driving.

(2) Have you had any problems with the car not starting due to 12-volt battery drain, and if so, what was the diagnosis (if known)? I'm worried if the 12-volt battery is prone to drain with the ICE not running for long periods of time, even though the car is driven. And I'm worried if the 12-volt battery is prone to drain if the car is not driven for 2-4 weeks at a time (as when many people like us frequently fly to destinations and leave our cars at home). Neither of these issues has appeared as a problem with our other PHEVs (Porsche, Toyota), but I understand that Volvos are different and can have severe problems (as even the owner's manual suggests). So I'm just looking for real-world data in this regard.

Thanks!
 

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(1) How long are people driving in electric-only mode (Volvo's "Pure" mode) without the ICE kicking in? I'm looking for people driving locally only for extended periods -- like weeks without the ICE ever coming on in daily driving.
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First, you asked about XC60, I have a S90 but all the same stuff, right?
I have gone well over a wekk, several times, but frequently I will accidentally kick on the ICE, but it shuts off after 1 minute (not enough to charge anything). I don't think I made it several weeks with ZERO ICE cycles, but I know I have made maybe 6-10 trips over 2 weeks with only 1 brief start.
(2) Have you had any problems with the car not starting due to 12-volt battery drain, and if so, what was the diagnosis (if known)?
Zero problems with the car so far. (I got it used last August with 17K miles, now has 24,000 miles or so.
 

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To your first question - we have gone more than 2 months and 3,000 miles on the same tank of gas. I would say we have had multiple days/weeks without the ICE coming on. We drive it almost every day - using PURE mode in the morning to drive kiddos to school and run errands. Then it generally gets recharged and repeat the process for afternoon pickup. So charging at least 2x a day. So while the ICE hasn't been engaged, we ARE charging it and using it frequently, unlike a scenario such as leaving at the airport for 2 weeks unused and unplugged.

We have not had any 12v issues at all.
 

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We have an '22 XC60 Early edition (non-ER) so we typically have 21-24 actual miles available on battery. We do mostly short trips with the occasional 200-400 miler thrown in and the car is always plugged in when not in use. After seven months and 6500 miles we're averaging a combined 55 mpg, and about half of our total miles are on pure battery. We sometimes go two or three weeks without using any gas. It seems like any longer than that and the ICE will kick on at startup (even with the drive mode set to Pure) one time and run for a few miles. I've gotten over worrying about the ICE running for a bit here and there and we're very happy with an average 55 mpg including our mostly-gas longer trips.
We have left the car undriven and unplugged only once for a week with no problem.
 

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2022 Volvo XC90 T8 R-Design with air suspension and B&W Sound system
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I thought on the T8 models the 12 volt battery was charged along with the hybrid battery when plugged in?
 

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I thought on the T8 models the 12 volt battery was charged along with the hybrid battery when plugged in?
I always assumed that as well, but well, I hear both on this site. I don't sweat it, that's for sure. Maybe I'll test it for kicks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I thought on the T8 models the 12 volt battery was charged along with the hybrid battery when plugged in?
I have heard both, as well -- that charging the traction battery does not also charge the 12-volt battery, and that charging the traction battery also charges the 12-volt battery.
It's just frustrating that the Volvo owner's manual is so vague, saying that you need to drive the car 15 minutes each week or you risk draining the 12-volt battery to the point where the car will not start, but yet it doesn't say if you need to drive with the ICE on for 15 minutes or if driving in all-electric only is sufficient. As I said, our other non-Volvo PHEVs have been left idle (and not charging) for weeks at a time when we're on trips where we fly somewhere, with no problems starting up immediately when we get home; and we have driven our non-Volvo PHEVs for weeks without the ICE coming on once, with no problems. These Volvo "Recharge" vehicles appear to be wired/engineered differently, for some reason that is worrisome and baffling. The Volvo battery engineer in Kyle Connor's YouTube video last October (which introduced the XC60 Extended Range T8) stated clearly that Volvo's new philosophy (gleaned from customer requests) is to provide a vehicle that's intended to be driven entirely in electric mode (no ICE) locally for longer periods of time -- so this makes any mention in the owner's manual of the 12-volt-battery draining very perplexing.
 
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2022 Volvo XC90 T8 R-Design with air suspension and B&W Sound system
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Per the online owners manual for my 2022 Late model T8...

"Charging status is indicated in three ways:
  • Indicators on the charging cable's control unit.
  • Indicator lamp in the car's charging input socket.
  • Illustration and text in the driver display.
The starter battery is charged when the hybrid battery is charging and terminated when the hybrid battery is fully charged."

T8 battery charging
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Per the online owners manual for my 2022 Late model T8...

"Charging status is indicated in three ways:
  • Indicators on the charging cable's control unit.
  • Indicator lamp in the car's charging input socket.
  • Illustration and text in the driver display.
The starter battery is charged when the hybrid battery is charging and terminated when the hybrid battery is fully charged."

T8 battery charging
OK, thanks... I didn't see that (the online owner's manual is very user-unfriendly).
So then, can the 12-volt (starter) battery start to drain if the car stays plugged in after the traction battery is fully charged (meaning, drain as a result of the car still being plugged in)?
I'm wondering what all contributes to the problematic draining of the 12-volt battery that so many people experience (and that the owner's manual warns about, advising people to "drive" the car "at least 15 minutes each week")...
 

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The manual recommends hooking the starter battery up to a trickle charger if the car isn't going to be driven for more than a week. Seems like a simple solution to the issue. You can likely even charge the battery through the 12V socket in the cargo bay (has to be one that remains powered while the car is off) if you don't want to deal with the hassle of hooking up directly to the battery posts. Most trickle charger manufacturers offer it as an optional connection.

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The manual recommends hooking the starter battery up to a trickle charger if the car isn't going to be driven for more than a week. Seems like a simple solution to the issue. You can likely even charge the battery through the 12V socket in the cargo bay (has to be one that remains powered while the car is off) if you don't want to deal with the hassle of hooking up directly to the battery posts. Most trickle charger manufacturers offer it as an optional connection.

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Battery tenders or trickle chargers are good if you’re leaving the car parked at home, but it is not a solution if you leave the car for example at an airport parking lot where you don’t have access to an outlet.
 

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Battery tenders or trickle chargers are good if you’re leaving the car parked at home, but it nos not a solution if you leave the car for example at an airport parking lot where you don’t have access to an outlet.
Fair statement, didn't consider that.
 

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2022 XC60 Recharge R-Design ER
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1) Am on same tank of gas for almost 2 months. Two fill ups since purchase and ODO is at 2200 miles. ICE only kicks on once or twice a week typically toward end of drive home. Car‘s charging to 41 miles now so ICE is only needed for 2-10 miles at most.

2) Parked car unplugged at airport for 6 days last month and recently for 5 days. No issues starting car either time. Knock on wood, haven’t had any other issues reported on this forum.
 

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1) Am on same tank of gas for almost 2 months. Two fill ups since purchase and ODO is at 2200 miles. ICE only kicks on once or twice a week typically toward end of drive home. Car‘s charging to 41 miles now so ICE is only needed for 2-10 miles at most.

2) Parked car unplugged at airport for 6 days last month and recently for 5 days. No issues starting car either time. Knock on wood, haven’t had any other issues reported on this forum.
I also have left the car parked for days at a time. We live in the city and don’t use it to commute. So we will frequently leave it plugged in (or not) for 5 days and just use it on the weekends on short battery only trips. No issues at all with the starter battery.


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I don't get this at all, ANY new car, Yaris to a Rolls Royce, should be able to sit 6 months between starts without battery going dead. No way in hell, I'd ever trickle charge a car that is used monthly, even more so, one that is plugged in!
 

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I don't get this at all, ANY new car, Yaris to a Rolls Royce, should be able to sit 6 months between starts without battery going dead. No way in hell, I'd ever trickle charge a car that is used monthly, even more so, one that is plugged in!
I’m interested in whether this issue is still happening to people. I’ve seen nothing on it here lately. Also, I’m not sure I ever saw it reported for a ER car.


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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
My dealership service-department foreman got back to me yesterday on questions that I had regarding this topic. He says that whenever you charge the traction battery (whether at 110/120 volts or at 220/240 volts), it also charges the 12-volt battery. So he says that if you never use the ICE but charge your Volvo PHEV regularly for electric-motor driving, your 12-volt battery should remain fully charged. So if this is true, it answers my question about not using the ICE for 2-4 weeks at a time while still driving daily and charging every day or two.

And I also have noticed a drop-off in the discussion of 12-volt battery problems with the 2022 XC60s here in this subsection of Swedespeed in the past couple of weeks. I wonder if the upgrade to version 2.1 has something to do with that. I'm about to take the plunge in buying a 2022 XC60 T8 ER, so I guess I'm going to find out from personal experience if any problems arise.
 

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The manual recommends hooking the starter battery up to a trickle charger if the car isn't going to be driven for more than a week. Seems like a simple solution to the issue. You can likely even charge the battery through the 12V socket in the cargo bay (has to be one that remains powered while the car is off) if you don't want to deal with the hassle of hooking up directly to the battery posts. Most trickle charger manufacturers offer it as an optional connection.

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In my XC60 no socket works when I lock the car, the system turns off all sockets
I know this because I checked, so this optional connector is useless
I using the CTEK charger for many years on different cars
 

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My dealership service-department foreman got back to me yesterday on questions that I had regarding this topic. He says that whenever you charge the traction battery (whether at 110/120 volts or at 220/240 volts), it also charges the 12-volt battery. So he says that if you never use the ICE but charge your Volvo PHEV regularly for electric-motor driving, your 12-volt battery should remain fully charged. So if this is true, it answers my question about not using the ICE for 2-4 weeks at a time while still driving daily and charging every day or two.

And I also have noticed a drop-off in the discussion of 12-volt battery problems with the 2022 XC60s here in this subsection of Swedespeed in the past couple of weeks. I wonder if the upgrade to version 2.1 has something to do with that. I'm about to take the plunge in buying a 2022 XC60 T8 ER, so I guess I'm going to find out from personal experience if any problems arise.
I'm not sure about this statement from your service manager, but anything is possible, the available instructions say something else


Starter battery service life and capacity
The service life of the start battery is influenced by a number of factors, including the number of starts, discharges, driving style, driving conditions and climate conditions. The battery's starting capacity decreases over time. Severe cold further limits starting capacity.
The battery level can become low if the vehicle is not used for a prolonged period of time or if it is only driven short distances.
To keep the start battery in good condition, drive the vehicle at least 15 minutes a week or connect the battery to a battery charger with automatic maintenance charging. A starter battery that is always kept fully charged has the maximum service life.


 

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Having to trickle the battery if you don’t drive it a week lol

Gimme a break. The car will be fine. Yes they want you to do that in a perfect world, no it won’t make a difference if you don’t.
 
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