New Volvo C30 electric cars offer faster acceleration and charging

Article by Anita Panait, on April 23, 2013

The strategic partnership between Volvo Cars and Siemens has finally bore fruit in the form of the new Volvo C30 fully electric cars. The Volvo C30s deliver on the carmaker’s commitment to electrification by improving acceleration and customer flexibility. The Volvo C30 could accelerate from zero to 70 km/h in just 5.9 seconds and achieve full recharge in just 1.5 hours.

This acceleration is attributed to the new Siemens motor that provides up to 89 kW (120 hp) of output and 250 Nm of torque. Starting summer 2013, European leasing customers could drive and assess an upgraded demo fleet of 100 Volvo C30s.

Lennart Stegland, Vice President Electric Propulsion Systems, Volvo Car Group, remarked that the C30’s innovative fast charging solution will radically improve its time and mileage.

He added that this will dramatically improve the cost of ownership, since a customer could now drive many low cost kilometers per day. He noted that a quick 10-minute plug-in adds power for another 20 kilometers of driving.

Siemens is the main supplier of electric propulsion powertrain parts for the upcoming Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform, which enables state-of-the-art electrification at all levels -- from different types of hybrids to pure electric drive, without invading interior or load space.

C30’s 22 kW fast-charger is the world's first on-board charger that works on a three-phase supply and is small enough to be carried in an electric car. A single charge takes 1.5 hours and provides a total range of 164 km, according to the NEDC certification driving cycle.

On the other hand, a conventional ordinary single-phase 230 V household outlet takes around 8 to 10 hours, depending on the available current. The upgraded Volvo C30 Electric fleet retains the high quality and safety standards that other Volvo cars flaunt.

Interestingly, the new Volvo C30 BEV looks similar to a regular Volvo C30 and features the same levels of comfort, safety and spaciousness. However, differences are bound to appear. For instance, the new instruments on the panel come with gauges and graphics different from those in a regular Volvo. This is because the combined instrument in the electric version only displays the vehicle’s speed and energy consumption as well as an array of new symbols like a gauge for battery charge status and other relevant information.

Likewise, the new Volvo C30 BEV offers a driving experience different from that of its conventional counterpart. Amazingly, the electric version of the Volvo C30 features no gears with the full power from its motor delivered to the wheels seamlessly and immediately.

Lennart Stegland remarked that the new Volvo C30 BEV offers a very special experience as it could be driven without a sound and with the benefit of instantaneous power. He added that Volvo spent a lot of time in determining a transmission system that drivers would find to be comfortable and safe to handle while optimally using battery's capacity at different speeds.

Propulsion on the Volvo C30 BEV is served through an electric motor that consumes just a fourth of what a conventional engine could eat up. This prompted the expectation that customers will have more interest in electric cars as fuel prices rise and as demands for low carbon dioxide emissions become stricter.

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