Volvo V60 plug-in hybrid prototypeEnlarge Photo
German electronics giant Siemens is no stranger to electric motors or electric cars -- and now it has announced a formal partnership with the Volvo Car Corporation to work on a new generation of electric car technology.
Confirmed at a joint press conference held in Munich, Germany, the two companies outlined their plans for the partnership.
Initially, the partnership will be geared towards Volvo’s existing C30 electric and V60 Plug-in Hybrid cars, but will then extend to a new car platform which Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby hinted could be debuted at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show.
The partnership between both firms is mutually beneficial, with Volvo giving Siemens 200 test cars with which to examine electric car use under real life conditions.
In exchange, Siemens will provide the Swedish automaker with power electronics, motors and charging systems for its future range of electric cars.
“The long-term direction means that we are developing towards the electric vehicle and hybrid models with different degrees of electrification,” said Stefan Jacoby. “This is one important step for the automotive industry. We want to be a pioneer,” he added, pointing out that by 2020 Volvo wants to have viable and cost-effective zero-emissions cars on the road.
While the partnership has only just been formally established, Siemens has already delivered drivetrain technology to Volvo. More powerful than Volvo initially specified, Siemen’s latest electric motor has a peak power output of 108 kilowatts - nearly 20 kilowatts more than the motor found in the 2012 Nissan Leaf.
Ominously absent from the press conference however was talk of battery technology. While Siemens will be providing Volvo with everything an electric car needs except the battery pack, Volvo hasn’t named its battery supplier.
So far, Volvo has used Ener1 for the battery packs in its prototype C30 electric cars, but with the battery firm currently fighting for survival, we’re not sure Volvo will want to continue that relationship into a production model electric car.