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Volvo Cars at the Frankfurt Motor Show: developing technology for sustainable transportation




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Volvo Cars at the Frankfurt Motor Show: developing technology for sustainable transportation


GÖTEBORG (September 6, 2007) -- The environment will play a major role within Volvo Car Corporation's display at the 62nd Frankfurt Motor Show, September 13-23.  The company plans to showcase some of the new technologies it is developing, designed to help reduce emissions of carbon dioxide in its products.  The centerpiece of the display will be a concept car with a plug-in hybrid powertrain. Called the Volvo ReCharge Concept, the show car is based on the Volvo C30 with modifications for improved aerodynamics and to support the unique power plant.


"We are working towards a multi-energy society where several energy-efficient solutions interact to deal with the complex climate issues," says Volvo Cars President and CEO Fredrik Arp. "The carbon dioxide issue has of course top priority. In order to deal effectively with the CO2 challenge, we must work with several different technological solutions that cover our entire model range."



Multi-energy and energy efficiency

While much of the car industry uses terms such as "alternative fuels" and "fuel consumption" when talking about environmental care, Volvo Cars prefers to focus on a "multi-fuel" approach, looking toward a "multi-energy" and "energy efficient" future.


"In order to more accurately judge the environmental effect of a new driveline, it is necessary to examine the entire chain from raw material extraction and fuel production to distribution and use in the car," says Arp.  "For instance, if a lot of electricity produced by fossil fuels is needed to create a renewable fuel, this will not be CO2-efficient from a holistic perspective even if the emissions from the car's tailpipe are minimal."



Holistic approach based on three cornerstones

The holistic method by which Volvo Cars applies to developing driveline technology is based on three cornerstones:


To innovate. Continuous efficiency improvements to today's conventionally-fuelled cars are taking place in parallel with intensive work on new hybrid technology.


To co-operate. Coordination with customers, politicians, organisations and other companies is a precondition for sustainable transport. Volvo Cars is determined to influence environmental initiatives and decisions that are taken outside of the car industry.


To deliver. Customers in a growing number of European markets will soon have access to one of the automotive world's broadest Flexifuel ranges: five models, three different bioethanol engines.


"At present, bioethanol is the most attractive alternative when you consider availability, environmental effectiveness and cost-efficiency," says Arp. "However, what is regarded as most favourable today may be refined or converted to an even more sustainable solution tomorrow. As an innovative knowledge-based company, we are an active and constructive partner in the global and regional forums that evaluate emerging alternatives for the future. It is our responsibility to deliver the car technology that makes transitions possible."



Systematisation in three phases

Volvo Cars uses a three phase system for the development of more efficient drivelines: innovate, test and deliver.


Show cars, such as the Volvo ReCharge Concept, are excellent examples of technologies that are in the innovation stage.


This systematic approach is being applied to all enhanced or alternative drivelines within the Volvo Cars development program. The aim is to stimulate and promote the viability of technology that is cost-effective, sustainable for the environment and sustainable for society in general.


"Few experts today question the significance of the CO2 issue," says Arp. "On the other hand, there are several views and methods for solving the problem in the short and long terms. Volvo Cars is ready to take the step into the multi-energy society that is being created. We understand the difficulties and we have the expertise and the innovative approach it takes to tackle both today's and tomorrow's environmental challenges."


Volvo Cars of Canada Corp. is part of the Volvo Car Corporation of Göteborg, Sweden.  The company provides marketing, sales, parts, service, technology and training support to the 43 Volvo automobile retailers across the country.  The company's product range includes the stylish and sporty C30, the elegant C70 hardtop convertible, the compact S40 sedan, the S60 sport sedan, the S80 flagship sedan, the versatile V50 wagon and the award-winning XC90 sport utility vehicle. For 2008, the company is introducing two all-new models: the redesigned V70 wagon and the capable and comfortable XC70.


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Chad Heard

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Erin Farquharson

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