- - Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Volvo C30 Electric is part of Volvo Cars‘ ambitious electrification strategy. It is as well-equipped, comfortable, sporty and safe as the standard car — while at the same time offering the driver a range of up to 150 kilometers per charge with almost zero carbon dioxide emissions.

“We have received very positive signals from the market so far. Fleet customers such as authorities and companies will lease most of the initial 250 cars. The cars will go to Sweden, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Germany, USA and China. If demand continues to remain high, we will increase our production,” says Lennart Stegland, director of Volvo Cars‘ Special Vehicles.

If the Volvo C30 Electric is recharged with renewable energy, for instance from wind power or hydropower, the car has almost no climate impact and produces no local emissions. This in combination with the superior energy-efficiency of an electric motor compared with a combustion engine suggests that electric cars are all set to become increasingly common in the future.

“It is estimated that by 2020 between five and ten percent of cars in Sweden will be powered by electricity. Around 2020-2025 we expect that electric cars will have conquered three to ten percent of the EU market share. Different markets have different potentials,” says Lennart Stegland.

Electric vehicles use relatively little electricity, and the increasing demand will be more than covered by the ambitious expansion plans for renewable energy sources all over Europe. One single wind power turbine, for instance, produces sufficient renewable energy to power 3,000 electric cars.

In order to give the car a range of up to 150 km, the Volvo C30 Electric has a 24 kWh battery pack, of which 22.7 kWh is used to power the car. The batteries (2x140 kg) are fitted both where the fuel tank is normally located and centrally in the vehicle. This means that the luggage space remains intact.

Under the bonnet the conventional combustion engine has been replaced by a far more compact 111 hp electric motor that offers 220 Nm of torque. In addition, the car has a 400 Volt high-voltage system.

The lithium-ion batteries are recharged via a regular 230 Volts power socket. The cable is plugged into the car’s grille via a specially designed charge connector.

The time needed for recharging varies with the current available. A full 10-Ampere charge takes approximately 10 hours. This time drops to around 6-8 hours with 16A.

During the charging process, the incoming alternating current (AC) is converted into direct current (DC) that is stored in the batteries. When the car is driven, another conversion step takes place. An inverter transforms the stored direct current into the alternating current that powers the electric motor.

The Volvo C30 Electric also has a DC/DC to support other systems, including the 12 Volt system that supplies various traditional components with power.

The electric motor’s instant torque delivery gives the Volvo C30 Electric acceleration from 0 to 70 km/h of just 6.5 seconds. The car has a top speed of 130 kilometers an hour.

The certified range according to the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) is 163 km. However, Volvo Cars specifies up to 150 kilometers as the car’s practical range.

“150 kilometers is a considerably longer distance than 90 percent of all commuters in the world cover per day. The average figure is 45 km/day. This means that the C30 Electric could be used for daily commuting,” explains Lennart Stegland.

The Volvo C30 Electric is equipped with three climate systems:

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