Volvo has now released more details of the all-electric C30 concept car it will launch at next week's 2010 Detroit Auto Show. We covered early details a couple of weeks ago; here's the rest of the story on the little electric hatchback with no tailpipe.
The electric C30 concept car will let the Swedish automaker assess the viability of a limited-range all-electric vehicle, and how it's used under real-world driving conditions.
Volvo expects to release 50 of the cars to consumers around the world, starting late this year. Its plan follows the pattern used by BMW for its Mini E, which it plans to replicate with the ActiveE concept, an electric model of the 1-Series sedan it will show in Detroit as well.
Volvo C30 Battery Electric Vehicle, shown at 2010 Detroit Auto Show
Volvo C30 electric concept, 2010 Detroit Auto Show
Volvo quotes an eight-hour recharging time for its 24-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery, assuming standard European 230-Volt power. (That time could double using U.S. 110-Volt current; U.S. drivers will likely have to install a 240-Volt circuit, like those used for electric stoves and clothes driers.)
The pack is located in the tunnel between the seats and in the space formerly occupied by the gasoline tank. It powers an electric motor under the hood that drives the front wheels, just as on the standard 2010 Volvo C30.
Volvo quotes acceleration of "less than 11 seconds" from 0 to 62 mph. Top speed is limited to roughly 80 mph, and the range is approximately 90 miles--a distance that fewer than 10 percent of vehicles in Europe and the U.S. travel each day.
Plug-in hybrids to be "main track"
Lennart Stegland, Director of Volvo Cars Special Vehicles, says, the company expects electric cars "primarily to be used in and around cities and for daily commuting."
Volvo also plans to introduce diesel and hybrid models that will be sold starting in 2012, although likely in small numbers at first. But it calls plug-in hybrids its "main electrification track" rather than battery electric vehicles.
From its point of view, plug-in hybrids offer long range and good environmental performance, but lower battery cost. The pack in the plug-in hybrid, says Volvo, will be just 12 kilowatt-hours.