There's still no consensus on quick-charging standards but definitely, Volvo Car Corp. is rethinking its initial plan for the batteries of the electric Volvo C30 to charge for 6-8 hours overnight. Volvo had previously stated that it doesn´t require the C30's batteries to be capable of quick charging in three hours or less. For now, Volvo will market the C30 EV only in Europe.
The European Union has yet to agree on quick-charging standards but for the time being, the volume is all for Europe," Lennart Stegland, president of Volvo's Special Vehicles unit, said at a media briefing last January at the EnerDel plant, which will produce the batteries for the C30.
Stegland admitted that the „business case is not obvious" for electric vehicles. Stegland said that in trying to determine the potential market, there's more uncertainty with more research. Nonetheless, the regulatory case is much clearer.
Draft EU regulations demand carmakers to cut their vehicles' carbon dioxide emissions 25% by 2012, with more cuts to come after that. Volvo's plans for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles are required to meet those mandates, rather than to meet current demand from consumers.
Stegland revealed that production of the C30 will begin with 50 cars to be used in Sweden in different climate zones as a research program. This will run for more than two years to see how drivers in moderate to severely cold areas use the cars.
After this stage, production will be increased slowly to 1,000 cars each year. The C30 will be followed by a plug-in hybrid vehicle that will go on sale to a few fleet customers early in 2012.
In fact, Volvo has set performance targets for that plug-in hybrid. Volvo has no plans to make a gasoline-electric hybrid. This decision was driven by the European CO2-reduction mandates as well.