Volvo C30 Battery Electric Vehicle, shown at 2010 Detroit Auto Show

Volvo C30 Battery Electric Vehicle, shown at 2010 Detroit Auto Show

Electric vehicles are significantly quieter than their traditional gas-powered counterparts. Maybe it's fitting then, that Volvo doesn't plan to say anything when they unveil their electric C30 at the Detroit Auto Show next week. Volvo spokesman, Dan Johnston, told Inside Line that the new zero-emissions vehicle will be on display, with requisite spokesperson nearby, but the company will not hold a press conference.

Johnston went on to say that the C30 isn't intended to compete with the Chevy Volt and that the market will decide what its rivals will be. (How does the Nissan Leaf sound?)

Volvo will initially release the C30 battery electric vehicle (BEV) in Europe, because according to Johnston, the current battery technology and range limitations are best suited to urban driving environments. The C30 BEV can go 93 miles on a full charge.

In a statement issued today, Director of Electrification Strategy, Paul Gustavsson, said "The consumer must feel that this type of car is attractive both to drive and own. In order to ensure this, we feel that electric cars will have to be as comfortable and safe and offer similar levels of performance as cars with other power sources. The learning from the C30 BEV project will help us to fulfill all these criteria and showcase Volvo's determination to drive developments in the field of electrification."

With a top speed of 81 mph and an 11 second 0 to 60 crawl, one can only hope that the C30 BEV project teaches Volvo a lot about improving EV performance.

Sources: Inside Line, Volvo