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2012 Volvo C30 Electric: European Test-Drive Page 3

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Pull-away is measured, with Volvo’s usual build quality keeping outside noise at a minimum. 

On the heavily gritted and icy roads around our Gothenburg test center the C30’s traction control coped admirably with traction found quickly and safely. 

As with the gasoline C30, steering was precise and direct, giving far more driver feedback than the 2011 Nissan LEAF, for example. 

One noticeable difference between gasoline and battery powered C30 is the extra weight present in the C30 Electric.  An overall weight increase of between 450 and 650 lbs helps improve cornering capabilities as well as providing a more grounded ride for passengers on rougher roads. 

Volvo C30 electric car after crash testing, shown at 2011 Detroit Auto Show

Volvo C30 electric car after crash testing, shown at 2011 Detroit Auto Show

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No Production Plans Yet 

At the moment Volvo plans to lease the 250 strong test fleet to corporate customers only, with results of the three years test scheme influencing future strategy.

However, with Volvo’s impressive V60 Plug-in Hybrid due to debut in a few weeks at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show the company is clearly keen on following a plug-in vehicle line for future years. 

A final point to note however, is Volvo’s continued access to Ford’s platforms even though Volvo is no-longer owned by Ford. 

Ford’s new 2012 flexible Focus platform could provide the perfect platform for Volvo’s first production plug-in vehicle. Naturally, Volvo did not comment on the possibility of a shared platform electric vehicle in the future - but we’re sure its silence on the subject speaks just as loudly as its C30 test fleet. 

Volvo’s C30 Electric illustrates an excellent first attempt at an all-electric vehicle. Obviously we’re keen to drive one for a much longer period to fully evaluate the vehicle,  but if our short experience behind the wheel is indicative of the test fleet we’re confident the C30 fleet will perform admirably. 

Volvo provided airfare, accommodation and meals to enable HighGearMedia to bring you this review. 


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Comments (6)
  1. I'm sure it's a wonderful car and will have a discouraging high price.
     
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  2. The highway setting is an interesting addition. As a fan of pulse and glide, I've wondered, every time regenerative braking is mentioned, if it's not more sensible to have this option to decelerate in the way that you would to improve the economy of a petrol car.
     
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  3. It is a wonderful car indeed, I hope they won't have much trouble with the Brusa electronics. We have a converted Prius with a charger from Brusa, and I am very disappointed.
    cheers
    Olmo
     
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  4. Just another conversion like the MINI-E, not serious effort. Just dabbling.
    I'm getting 200 MPG in my Volt. Most days I use no gas. This is not the future, I'm doing now with my own car.
     
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  5. BTW, I think cars like this are being marketed to early adopters because it can only go 80 mph, not 100 mph like the Chevy Volt that is for sale now. By the time they start selling a Volvo like this all the early adopters will have adopted. :)
    Auto makers need to make cars that appeal to everybody that buys cars.
     
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  6. The hybrid heating is an interesting concept. As a non-ideologue, I'm agnostic. I wonder how much heating you'd seen with 4 gallons of fuel -- perhaps that would go a long way.
     
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