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Volvo developing electric C30 fleet


Volvo Cars will launch the batery-powered electric C30 prototype at the Detroit Motor Show in January

Volvo Cars has plans for a test fleet of approximately 50 vehicles to be on the road in 2011. Users will drive the test fleet during a two-year trial period to provide Volvo Cars with feedback and data.

"The first prototype helped us identify the main technological challenges, such as battery packaging and safety issues. We have addressed these challenges without compromising the C30's cool and fun-to-drive personality. I am very happy with the result. The electric C30 in Detroit is a much more complete product," says Lennart Stegland, Director of Volvo Cars Special Vehicles.

Volvo says the electric C30 looks like a regular Volvo C30 and it offers the same safety, comfort and roominess as the standard car.

The most obvious difference inside the car is the new instruments facing the driver, which shows only road speed and energy consumption. However, it also integrates a number of new symbols such as a gauge for battery charge status and other relevant information for this type of vehicle.

The driving experience is also different to that in a conventional car. The electric C30 has no gears and the motor's full power is available immediately.

"Sailing along virtually without a sound is a very special experience. The power is there instantaneously. We need to spend a lot of time verifying a transmission system that is both comfortable and safe for the driver to handle and at the same time utilizes the battery's capacity optimally at different speeds," says Stegland.

The Volvo C30 to be shown in Detroit is powered by Lithium-Ion batteries that can be recharged via either a regular household power socket or special roadside charging stations. Charging the battery fully takes about eight hours.

If the car is recharged with renewable electricity, CO2 emissions could be almost zero in the well-to-wheel perspective.

Top speed with a fully charged battery pack is about 130kmh. The car's range is up to 150km.

The electric motor is fitted under the bonnet while the batteries (24 kWh) are installed in the propeller shaft tunnel and in the space normally occupied by the fuel tank, outside the passenger compartment and away from the deformations zones.

Technical specifications:

  • Car model: Volvo C30 - full four seater
  • Main engine: Electric engine 40/82KW
  • Power output: Electric engine 82kW, 111 bhp
  • Acceleration 0-100kmh: 10.5 seconds
  • Charging duration: Charging via standard power socket, 230 V, 16 ampere: < 8 hours
  • Range on electric power: 150km (NEDC cycle)
  • Battery energy content: 24 kWh nominal energy, of which 22.7 kWh used to power the car
  • Battery weight: 280 kg
  • Carbon dioxide emissions (tailpipe): none

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