The first electric cars emerging from the strategic partnership of Volvo Cars and Siemens are delivering a claimed 0-70 km/h in 5.9 seconds and a full recharge in only 1.5 hours.

Beginning summer 2013, European leasing customers will drive and evaluate an upgraded demo fleet of 100 Volvo C30 fully electric cars. Volvo says the unique technology solutions involved can be integrated throughout the future electrification range.

The new Siemens motor has a peak power output of 89 kW (120 hp) and a torque of 250 Nm, with an acceleration of 0-70 km/h in 5.9 seconds.

"Adding the innovative fast charging solution will radically improve the time and mileage for the daily usage of the car. This will drastically improve the cost of ownership since the customer will now be able to drive many low cost kilometres per day. A quick 10-minute plug-in adds power for another 20 kilometres of driving," says Lennart Stegland, vice president electric propulsion systems, Volvo Car Group.

Siemens is the main supplier of electric propulsion power train components for the forthcoming Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform, which Volvo says enables sophisticated electrification at all levels - from different kinds of hybrids to pure electric drive, without intruding on interior or load space.

Volvo says the new 22 kW fast-charger is the world's first on-board charger that operates on a three-phase supply and is small enough to be fitted in an electric car. Using a three-phase outlet, a charge takes 1.5 hours (total range 164 km according to NEDC certification driving cycle). While an ordinary single-phase 230 V household outlet takes 8-10 hours, depending on the available current.

"We're proud to have developed this unique solution. By offering more usable hours a day, we've taken an important step towards making electric cars more viable as a commercial proposition, in both the private and public sectors," Lennart Stegland says.

Volvo says the fuel cost is significantly lower than that for conventional cars, saving up to 2/3 of the cost, depending on fuel prices.

"Volvo is, and has always been, a human centric carmaker. The same focus and dedication that's delivered world-class safety solutions is now focused on producing dynamic, intuitive and flexible electrified cars," adds Stegland.

The strategic partnership between Volvo Car Group and Siemens was formed in August 2011 with the intention to jointly spearhead the development of electrified cars.

"Our aim is to be first with the latest technology within electrification. The new C30 electric fleet will give us continuous feedback on technology and functionality as we approach a future series production," Stegland says.