Anyone who has any type of interest in the automotive world, will take electric vehicles with some pretty good seriousness. I’m of the opinion that my current vehicle is likely to be my last gas-powered one.
This does not make me sad. Electric vehicles have amazing potential and they are just getting started. I am likely to stick with the Volvo brand as well. To that end, Volvo started a #RechargeThursday promo. The idea is to get people in and test drive the electric XC40. Which I did because in 5-7 years, I’ll be looking to replace this guy.
When I was looking for my next vehicle, I did take the XC40(non-Recharge) out for a test. It was a great little vehicle for running around with. If I was only ever going to stay in the city or not go camping, then I’d have gone with it. Sadly, since I use my vehiecles for camping and long drives, I need someting bigger and a bit more comfy on road trips. Not to say this isn’t comfortable, it’s just less so than my current vehicle.
So a couple of immedieate observations. The Dashboard was….lacking.
That part in the middle is a tempary menu that you bring up. Otherwise it’s just black. I mean, at least 50% of the entire dash is just nothing but black. I thought it was a very ugly design and I was surprised. It took me a bit to figure out how to get the map on the screen, that helped some to make better use of the digital real estate. I mean if you close that menu, you will literally see a gian black space where the menu sits. Nothing ‘adjusts’ to use that space. It’s just…..wasted.
This is fine but wayyyyyy too much focus on the map for a vehicle that is likely ever going to be driven is just the city for regular chores(i.e. groceries, work….)
Let’s compare it to my dash. This is as basic a layout as I can get with it.
While still having some ‘unused digital real estate’, it still takes up more space than the XC40. Next pic now has the map on it. Much more reasonable.
Speaking of maps and navigation, I do find it a bit amusing how overkill it can be. Of course you set your navigation through the vheicles centre dash and the maps display there. Then you have the option of setting it on the driver’s dash, as seen above. Now, I have a Heads Up Display and while it doesn’t show a map, per se, if you have guideance going on, it will show ‘lines’ that represent roads and turns coming up. So I then have 3 places where my ‘maps’ are.
Back to EVs.
So the whole reason I took the XC40 Recharge for a drive is to see where EVs/Volvo is at currently. I’ll be keeping an eye on their development, and test drive each generation that comes out till I’m ready to replace mine. Volvo does have a new C40 Recharge that is just going into production now.
Oh, another thing is I didn’t really like the new centre console layout in the XC40 Recharge.
It;s like they are trying too hard to mimick regular buttons. This I really dont get. You have developed completely new platform and believe that people will be more likely to accept it if it looks like the ‘old platform that had buttons’?
The whole centre console thing is closer to a tablet than a car dash. People are well used to using touch screens on a daily basis, so why go ‘backwards’ to make it look like ‘not something’ they use everyday? Well, let’s hope they improve the style by the time I’m ready to buy one.
Here’s what I’d liek to see:
- A centre consolre that clearly doens’t look like it’s pretending to be from the 90s
- More vehicle information. I mean, ‘range anxiety’ is a thing, so give people the information they need so they don’t have to hunt for the tiny little ‘fuel gauge'(did YOU ev en notice it? Go back and see if you can find it)
- improved vehicle range. While this is more of an industry thing and a Volvo-thing, one can hope that 500kms will be mroe of a standard(like it was with gas-poswered vehicles).
- or maybe just a faster way to charge(like gas stations)
What would you like to see in new EVs as they come out?