In August, 2011, the two powerhouses formed a strategic partnership into the development of electric vehicle charging technologies, drive systems, and electronics. There was focus, especially, on how to integrate such systems into the Volvo C30 three-door hatchback.
Volvo recently posted the first fruits of the two companies’ cooperative efforts. The first is an electric motor by Siemens that can generate 89 kilowatts, or 120 horsepower. Torque, or low-end acceleration, is 184 lb.-ft. of torque. According to the automaker, C30s equipped with the motor can zip from 0 to 43.5 mph in less than six seconds. While that’s an odd acceleration figure (most use 0 to 60 mph), it’s still fast.
But of more particular interest to consumers will be the partnership’s 22 kilowatt fast charger system. A major issue with all EVs is that it takes several hours to recharge their batteries. This is especially true using standard current like the 120V here in the U.S. Volvo says that its can recharge the C30′s battery system in roughly 1.5 hours. That makes it the one of the fastest, if not the fastest, charging systems offered by any automaker.
States Lennart Stegland, vice president of Electric Propulsion Systems at Volvo: “Adding the innovative fast charging solution will radically improve the time and mileage for the daily usage of the car. This will drastically improve the cost of ownership since the customer will now be able to drive many low cost kilometres per day. A quick 10-minute plug-in adds power for another 20 kilometers of driving.”
Europeans currently leasing the electric Volvo C30 will have a chance to try these new technologies starting this summer. The automaker will offer 100 of the electrified hatchbacks as part of its demo fleet of vehicles. “Our aim is to be first with the latest technology within electrification,” states Stegland. “The new C30 Electric fleet will give us continuous feedback on technology and functionality as we approach a future series production.”
Volvo has been testing C30 EVs in Europe since 2011. There is still no word if the EVs will be coming to the U.S., if ever.*