If you're one of our European readers who's had his or her sights set on leasing a Volvo C30 Electric, we have good news and bad news.

First the good news: Volvo has announced plans to start producing the C30 Electric for European customers this fall.

The bad news? The company is only making 250 of the models, and most of those will be leased to businesses, government agencies, and "authorities".

You might remember that our own Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield had the opportunity to test drive a Volvo C30 Electric back in February (for ten minutes, anyway). Her impressions were a mixed bag, and reactions like those might explain why Volvo has chosen to produce what amounts to a test fleet.

So, what's Volvo really up to? In all likelihood, the company is using the C30 to assess its EV manufacturing capabilities and scalabilities -- not to mention a range of associated side projects like its inductive charging station. Whether the C30 will ever see a full production line remains to be seen, but it's an interesting experiment for the typically cautious Volvo.

For more information, scan Volvo's official press release below, or read Nikki's report at All Cars Electric.

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Volvo Car Corporation starts production of the Volvo C30 Electric to leasing customers in Europe

The Volvo C30 Electric has now left the product development stage. Initial deliveries to leasing customers, mainly companies, authorities and governmental bodies, will take place immediately after the summer. 

The Volvo C30 Electric will be manufactured and delivered to leasing customers throughout Europe, including in Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands and Norway. Tests on a fleet of about 50 cars have been conducted since autumn 2010, mainly internally at the Volvo Car Corporation. A Volvo C30 Electric was also part of the "One Tonne Life" project in which a family was given the task of living as climate-smart as possible for a period of six months. About 250 cars will be built by end 2012, possibly more if market interest takes off.

The Volvo C30 Electric is built on the regular assembly line in the Ghent factory and then transported to Göteborg for installation of the motor, batteries and other model-specific electronics. The batteries are installed where the fuel tank normally sits and also in a special compartment in the car's central tunnel. As a result, the luggage compartment is unchanged. The car is recharged from a regular household power socket. A full recharge takes about 7 hours. The operating range is up to 150 kilometres per full charge. Top speed is 130 km/h and acceleration from 0-50 km/h takes four seconds.

The Volvo C30 Electric project is part of the Volvo Car Corporation's highly ambitious electrification strategy for the forthcoming years. The electric car has attracted considerable international attention.