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September 17, 2009

SWEDEN: Volvo shows EV as plug-in hybrid work continues

Volvo is evaluating a battery electric-powered version of its entry-level C30 model but said its main focus in on plug-in hybrids.

Volvo is evaluating a battery electric-powered version of its entry-level C30 model but said its main focus is on plug-in hybrids.

The prototype EVs have a range of about 90 miles (140km), top speed of 80mph (120km/h) and accelerates to 62mph (100km/h) in under 11 seconds.

The lithium-ion battery pack can be recharged from a domestic power socket and a full ‘refuel’ should take about eight hours.

The electric motor is housed under the bonnet (hood) but Volvo is still trying to finalise battery location.

“Ideally, it will be in the prop shaft tunnel or where the fuel tank normally is located,” the automaker said, noting these locations are within the crumple zone. Since the car runs solely on electricity, it requires a larger battery with higher capacity (24 kWh) compared to a plug-in hybrid (12 kWh).

For now, Volvo Cars’ main EV focus is on plug-in hybrids, particularly for larger models.

“The combination of electric motor and combustion engine is the solution that, at this moment in time, has the greatest potential from both technical and commercial viewpoints. Plug-in hybrids offer long range, good environmental performance and at the same time limited dependence on expensive battery technology,” Volvo said.

“We feel that [full] electric cars will have to be as comfortable and safe and offer similar levels of performance as cars with other power sources,” added EV chief Paul Gustavsson.

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