Volvo Goes All-Electric with C30 BEV Prototypes

In addition to the market introduction of a diesel-electric plug-in hybrid in 2012 (details here), Volvo is also working on a pure electric model with the C30 BEV, which stands for 'Battery Electric Vehicle". The Swedish automaker has built a small number of prototype versions of the C30 BEV that will are to be tested internally by Volvo to evaluate the vehicle in real-life conditions with much of the focus being on the integration of the electric propulsion system with the rest of the car.

"The Volvo C30 is the first model we will try out with electric power. This car's excellent properties in city traffic and its relatively low weight make it particularly suitable, since electric cars are primarily expected to be used in and around cities and for daily commuting," says Lennart Stegland, Director of Volvo Cars Special Vehicles.

The C30 BEV is powered by an electric motor housed under the hood that drives the front wheel. Energy is provided by a 24kW Lithium-Ion battery that can be fully charged through a regular 230V household socket in about eight hours.

Volvo says that the all-electric C30 accelerates from 0 to 100km/h (62mph) in less than 11 seconds while the vehicle's top speed has been limited to around 130km/h (80mph). The car has a driving range of up to 150 kilometres or 93 miles, which Volvo claims is "longer and far better than the distance 90 percent of all Europe's motorists drive per day."

The Swedish automaker said that while the company's main focus over the next years will be plug-in hybrids, they will assess the viability of all-electric vehicles. According to the company, the are several factors that will determine the success or not of dedicated electric cars.

"The consumer must feel that this type of car is attractive both to drive and own," says Paul Gustavsson, Director of Electrification Strategy at Volvo Cars.

"In order to ensure this, we feel that electric cars will have to be as comfortable and safe and offer similar levels of performance as cars with other power sources. The learning from the C30 BEV project will help us to fulfill all these criteria and showcase Volvo's determination to drive developments in the field of electrification."