Volvo C30 DRIVe Electric - One Alternative to Lower Emissions
Volvo's electric vehicle on display at 2010 Los Angeles International Auto Show
Los Angeles, Calif. (November 17, 2010) - It's a hot summer afternoon and the gleaming towers of downtown Los Angeles discourage their occupants by the thousands. People all over the county jump into their cars and quickly become mired in stopped traffic. Today, where the rocky peaks of the San Gabriel Mountains are usually seen, lurks a thick layer of smudgy brown particulates.
It's a picture most Los Angelinos are used to seeing. But what if, in the future, that layer of filth was gone? And what if the majority of cars on the road in the future didn't exhaust a single particle of pollution? That's a day that engineers at Volvo Car Corporation are attempting to realize sooner than later with the ambitious Volvo C30 DRIVe Electric.
Visitors to the 2010 Los Angeles International Auto Show will get a change to see Volvo's vision of the tailpipe emissions-free vehicle from November 19-28, 2010. But the C30 DRIVe Electric is more than just a one-off concept designed to whet your appetite but not fill your stomach. Volvo Cars' electric car project currently encompasses about 250 vehicles. The first ten C30 DRIVe Electric's will go to the Swedish-based 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. While a final number has yet to be determined, a small test fleet of C30 DRIVe Electrics will find their way to California in the next 12 months to get a better understanding of this market's requirements and interest for such a vehicle.
"Cities such as Los Angeles are the perfect proving grounds for a car like the C30 DRIVe Electric," said Doug Speck, President and CEO of Volvo Cars of North America, LLC. "With an average commute distance of around 30-35 miles per day, a Los Angeles-area commuter would find the C30 DRIVe Electric the perfect freeway companion."
The C30 DRIVe Electric, if eventually sold in the U.S., will easily accommodate the needs of the average Los Angeles commuter. The electric motor replaces the C30's traditional internal combustion engine and is housed under the hood. An Enerdel lithium-ion battery powers the Volvo C30 DRIVe Electric. The vehicle is designed to be charged with a 110v or 220v standard electric outlet and could easily be charged overnight. With an estimated range of 94 miles, the C30 DRIVe Electric could silently propel its owner and up to three commuting friends for several days of trips to and from the office.
Safety, a Volvo Cars core value, has been carefully considered in the C30 DRIVe Electric. Based on a production version of the C30 seen on the roads today, the C30 DRIVe Electric features five different grades of steel which help to distribute crash forces around the passenger compartment. The battery pack is located centrally within the vehicle, placing it as far away as possible from potential intrusion in the event of a serious collision.
"We apply the same high safety standards to all our products," said Thomas Broberg, Senior Safety advisor, Volvo Cars Safety. "But the safety-related challenges may differ depending on the driveline and fuel being used. To us, electrification technology is another exciting challenge in our quest to build the safest cars on the market."
While the C30 DRIVe Electric is an important step forward in terms of alternative fuel solutions, it's far from the only option Volvo Cars is currently considering. In 2012, European customers will be able to buy Volvo plug-in electrical hybrids; cars that can be recharged via a regular household electric socket. These cars have both a conventional diesel combustion engine and an electric motor powered by a battery pack. They are propelled primarily by energy from the battery, with the combustion engine taking over when the distance travelled exceeds the capacity of the battery.
Volvo Cars of North America, LLC, www.volvocars.com/us is a subsidiary of Volvo Car Corporation of Gothenburg, Sweden. VCNA provides marketing, sales, parts, service, technology and training support to Volvo automobile retailers in the United States, and oversees Volvo operations in Canada. For more information on the entire Volvo product lineup please refer to the Volvo Cars of North America, LLC, public relations website at: http://www.volvocars-pr.com/.
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