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 ShowEnlarge Photo
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.