Volvo Cars will unveil
the next-generation battery electric powered Volvo C30 at the Detroit
Motor Show in January 2010. The C30 on display will present a step
further in the development process from the driveable electric prototype
which was presented in September 2009. The new battery electric C30
features a complete interior and full instrumentation, as well as
enhanced battery packaging. The electric C30 looks like a regular Volvo
C30 and offers the same safety, comfort, space and four seats as the
"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 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
The next step in the development process is a factory-built series of
test cars. Selected users will drive the test fleet during a two-year
trial period beginning in 2011 in order to provide Volvo Cars with
valuable experience - not just technical but also behavioral. The
Swedish Energy Agency is supporting the project by contributing SEK 150
million towards its funding.
Like a regular C30 -
but with no emissions
electric motor uses about one-quarter as much energy as an engine
running on fossil fuels. This superior energy efficiency suggests that
interest in electric cars will increase as fuel prices rise and demands
for low CO2 emissions become increasingly stringent.
The Volvo C30 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 81 mph.
Acceleration from 0 to 60 mph takes less than 11 seconds. The car's
range is up to 150 kilometres. This covers the daily transport needs of
more than 90 percent of all motorists in Europe.
As safe as
all other Volvos
electric motor is fitted under the bonnet while the batteries (24 kWh)
are installed in the propshaft tunnel and in the space normally occupied
by the fuel tank, outside the passenger compartment and away from the
"What is more, they are well encapsulated and the structure around them
has been reinforced. Electric cars represent yet another interesting
challenge in our dedication to building the world's safest cars. An
electrically powered Volvo must be as safe as all other new Volvos. And
the very same standards also apply to ownership, driving and protection
in the event of an accident," says Thomas Broberg, Senior Safety Advisor
at Volvo Cars.
prospects for electric power
When it comes to electric-only cars, there are several factors that
determine their appeal in the future.
"The consumers must feel that this type of car is attractive both to
drive and own. That is why electric cars have to be as comfortable and
safe and offer the same sort of performance as cars with other power
sources," says Paul Gustavsson, Director of Electrification Strategy at
He continues: "We
believe in this technology and our field test aims to demonstrate that
electric cars have considerable market potential. However, offering an
attractive car is not enough. What is also needed initially is a system
of subsidies to make the electric car's expensive battery technology
financially viable for the car buyers. We hope that the authorities and
the rest of the society will follow Volvo Cars in our "Drive Towards
Zero" - Volvo Cars' journey towards zero emissions."