It looks like a regular Volvo C30 and it features the very same safety, comfort and space as the standard car. The difference is that it is powered solely by electricity, entirely without exhaust emissions, and has a range of up to 150 kilometres (approximatly 94 miles). The Volvo C30 Electric project has attracted immense international attention. Volvo Cars has received visits from many potential overseas customers and the first sales contract has already been signed.
Volvo Cars' electric car project currently encompasses about 250 vehicles that will be used by a number of companies and authorities. The first ten C30 Electric's will go to the energy company Göteborg Energi with deliveries starting during the autumn of 2010.
"We have had a very positive response from the market so far. If the demand continues to be high, we will of course expand our production series," says Lennart Stegland, director of Volvo Car Corporation's Special Vehicles division.
If Volvo C30 Electric is recharged using electricity from renewable sources, travel is virtually free from carbon dioxide emissions. The range is up to 150 km (94 miles) on a single battery charge.
"That's way further than 90 percent of commuters in Europe cover on a daily basis. The car could be used for the average family's everyday commuting needs," says Lennart Stegland.
The electric motor is housed under the bonnet, just like the engine in a conventional car. An Enerdel lithium-ion battery powers the Volvo C30 Electric. It is charged from a regular mains power socket. A completely depleted battery takes about eight hours to recharge.
The car has a top speed of about 130 kilometres per hour (approximatly 81 mph) and accelerates from zero to one hundred in 10.5 seconds.
Electric cars are the future
Electricity is highly suitable as a fuel for passenger cars. It is the superior energy efficiency of the electric motor compared with the combustion engine which suggests that electric cars will become increasingly common in the future as fuel prices rise and demands for low CO2 emissions become ever more stringent.
"By 2020 about 5-10 percent of cars in Sweden are expected to be electric. By 2020-2025 we believe that electric cars will account for 3-10 percent of the market share in the EU countries. Different markets have different preconditions," says Lennart Stegland.
The same safety standards as always
Volvo Cars imposes the very same high safety standards on all its products irrespective of the type of fuel or power source used. Volvo's safety dedication is always focused on the human being and is based on solid know-how of real-life traffic situations. What is more, comprehensive in-house tests are carried out both virtually and in Volvo's highly advanced crash-test laboratory - all with the aim to ensure that the C30 Electric is just as safe as any other car bearing the Volvo badge.
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