Another major automotive brand will join the electrification drive within the next few years. Volvo is currently testing battery-powered C30 with a mind to put it in full production.

Volvo is not only preparing a plug-in hybrid for release in 2012, but has begun work on a full electric solution known as the BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle). The base for this is the compact C30 which has been left virtually unchanged from its petrol and diesel siblings. The main difference is under the bonnet where instead of a fossil fuel engine, an electric motor is located.

Said Lennart Stegland, Director of Volvo Cars Special Vehicles: "The Volvo C30 is the first model we will try out with electric power. This car's excellent properties in city traffic and its relatively low weight make it particularly suitable, since electric cars are primarily expected to be used in and around cities and for daily commuting."

Tests conducted showed that the BEV will be able to cover the 0 - 100km/h run in under 11 seconds but offer a limited top speed of 130km/h. Volvo reckons this is enough for most people's needs. Its range can go up to 150 kilometres which is suitable for most European road user's daily needs.

With the motor under the bonnet engineers are still deciding where to put the 24 kWh lithium-ion battery which can be charged on most household power sockets in about eight hours. The two most likely places are the prop shaft tunnel and the area normally reserved for a petrol/ diesel tank.

Undoubtedly the same high safety standards that are applied to "normal" cars the company makes also apply to the C30 BEV as crash testing has already begun.


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