ROCKLEIGH, NJ - Volvo Cars is currently evaluating the viability of an entirely electric-powered car known as a BEV (battery electric vehicle) for the Volvo C30.
With the same look and safety, comfort, and space features as the standard model, the only difference is that the Volvo C30 BEV is powered solely by electricity, entirely without exhaust emissions, and has a range of up to 150 kilometers, according to the manufacturer.
In 2009, a small number of prototype versions of the C30 BEV have been built and tested internally by Volvo. In addition to focusing on performance and safety, much of the focus is on 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," said Lennart Stegland, director of Volvo Cars Special Vehicles.
The Volvo C30 BEV is powered by a lithium-ion battery charged via a regular power socket found in most homes. Recharging an entirely depleted battery via the regular household power supply system (230V, 16A) will take about eight hours. If the car is charged with renewable electricity this means that emissions - all the way from electricity production to its use out on the road - will in principle be non-existent, according to Volvo.
The electric motor is housed under the bonnet, just like the engine in a conventional car. One of the priorities within the BEV project is to find the optimal placing of the battery. Most likely is the prop shaft tunnel and the place where the fuel tank normally is located the best places. These locations are within the car's optimised crumple zone in the most common collision scenarios. Since the car runs solely on electricity, it requires a larger battery with higher capacity (24 kWh) than in the case of the plug-in hybrid (12 kWh).