Advance news on the green concept cars to be shown at next month's Detroit Auto Show continues to trickle out. The latest: a further evolution of the all-electric Volvo C30 three-door hatchback concept.

It's the second European electric concept car. It joins the BMW Concept ActiveE electric car, based on the 1-Series Coupe, that was revealed last week.

The electric Volvo, based on the company's smallest model, has been shown before at last autum's Frankfurt Motor Show. The concept to be shown in Detroit is not only drivable, but has a full interior.

Like the BMW, the lithium-ion battery pack is split between the spaces that formerly housed the gas tank and the driveshaft for the rear wheels. Unlike the BMW, however, the electric motor is housed under the hood and drives the front wheels.

Volvo quotes a range of roughly 90 miles, with a top speed of 80 mph from a fully charged battery pack. Acceleration from 0 to 62 mph takes less than 11 seconds.  It says a full recharge using European home electricity will take 8 hours.

Volvo plans to test 50 of the plug-in C30s for two years, starting in 2011, to get the same kinds of real-world data as BMW is seeking from the Concept ActiveE and, before that, its all-electric Mini E.

It joins a growing range of green Volvos planned for the next few years, including diesel and hybrid models that will be sold in the U.S. within a few years, although likely in small numbers at first.

[Automotive News (subscription required) via MotorAuthority]


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