Volvo is building a fleet of battery electric C30s for real life tests.
One of the cars will be on display at the Detroit Motor Show in January 2010, with a range of 150 kilometres and a top speed of 81mph.
Volvo says that this next C30 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 standard car.
The next step in the development process is a factory-built series of 50 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.
A pure electric car has different characteristics compared to a car with an internal combustion engine and the test fleet will give Volvo experts the opportunity to study how users handle these differences.
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.
The 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 deformations zones.