Purchasing new hardware? Read our latest product comparisons

Volvo to enter the EV market with all-electric C30


January 13, 2011

While it looks like a regular Volvo C30 with the same safety, comfort and space as featured in standard model the big difference is that the C30 Electric is powered solely by electricity

While it looks like a regular Volvo C30 with the same safety, comfort and space as featured in standard model the big difference is that the C30 Electric is powered solely by electricity

Image Gallery (8 images)

Volvo is set to enter the electric vehicle (EV) market with the production of an all-electric version of their C30 three-door compact. An electric concept based on the C30 was first seen in 2007 and last year the C30 Electric was taken to the Paris and Los Angeles Motor Shows. Now Volvo has announced its plans to begin production of the EV with the first ten cars off the production line heading to Swedish energy provider Göteborg Energi in the coming months.

While it looks like a regular Volvo C30 with similar safety, comfort and space as featured in the standard model, the big difference is of course that the C30 Electric is powered solely by electricity and produces zero local emissions.

The electric motor is housed under the bonnet and is powered by an Enerdel lithium-ion 24 kWh battery. It is charged using regular mains power with a completely depleted battery taking eight to ten hours to recharge. The EV has a range of 150 kilometers (94 miles) on a full charge, boasts a top speed of 130 km/h (approximately 80 mph) and accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 10.5 seconds via its 82 kW electric motor.

These figures are comparable to the Nissan LEAF which has a 100 mile (160 km) range, 80kW motor, top speed of around 90 mph (140 km/h) and an estimated 8 hour recharge time.

The Volvo C30 Electric project has slated an initial production run of only 250 vehicles.

"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," Lennart Stegland, director of Volvo Car Corporation's Special Vehicles division said.

The new EV was at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show where at the company's stand featured a Volvo C30 Electric that had undergone a frontal collision test at 40 mph (64 km/h).

"Our tests show it is vital to separate the batteries from the electric car's crumple zones to make it as safe as a conventional car," Volvo Cars' President and CEO Stefan Jacoby said. "In Detroit we are the first car maker to show the world what a truly safe electric car looks like after a collision with high-speed impact."

Key specs – Volvo C30 Electric

  • Electric motor: 110 hp (82 kW)
  • Top speed: 81 mph (130 km/h)
  • Acceleration: 0-100 km/h in 10.5 sec
  • Batteries: Lithium-ion 24 kWh
  • Charge: 230V, 16A, 10A, 6A
  • Recharging duration: 8-10 hours
  • Range: 75-95 miles (120-150 km)
  • Battery weight: 2 x 310 lb (2 x 140 kg)
  • Weight increase compared with a standard car: + 600 lb (+ 300 kg)

Again another worthless electric with no usable range and an insane recharge time, looks like virtually every car company has to try there hand at this and every one of them will find that nobody will buy one or at the very least will not be able to afford one, and heaven forbid if your power should go out at night while your car is \\"refueling\\" and then you can\\'t get to work. I also imagine you wouldn\'t want to get stuck in a bad weather situation and you deplete your power reserves running your climate control, lights, and radio while inching your way home. Believe it or not I can see a good use for electric cars and wouldn\'t mind having one for the stop and go traffic that is such hell on a gas or diesel powered car but as long as they insist on using batteries as the power source it will be a VERY long time before people will ever really want to have one.


All very nice, but it lacks an on-board photovoltaic recharge capacity, so that when this car-sized car is stalled in the peak-hour grid lock with all the other highway-choking petrol/electric hybrid vehicles, the time can be usefully employed to give the batteries a bit of a boost to run the air conditioner and MP3 player to keep the driver amused and reduce road rage.

The basic problem is not what fuel the car uses, but the number of cars on the roads. This vehicle just reduces local pollution, but doesn\'t ease the traffic problem.


Good points joeblake but the amount of cars could be easily handled as well if the road planers would start utilizing more free flowing road set ups that had little or no choke points, that\'s the real reason we even have traffic, due to the poor road lay outs the world over. :-)


joeblake you are right ! is not possible to have much car in he city only because are electric ..... The parking problems don\\'t know if the car is electric on not

Aldo Greco

I like the safety aspects to Volvo\'s design criteria - no volatile batteries in the crumple zones. The fact that a full recharge takes 8 hours is of no real consequence unless planned usage is long-range driving. Other uses will cycle the batteries between 99% and 50% with overnight recharge of only a couple of hours - so no big deal.

If you want a great hybrid, get one of our prototypes in either aluminum/water fuel cell or micro-gas-turbine electric configuration. The gas turbine will take you as far as you want to go, recharging as you drive and you can still plug in when you like. The fuel cell version will go 400km between cartridges (and you can still plug in when you like).

For the average person, these cars early electric cars will be just fine, especially when you can plug in at work (coming soon).


\"The Volvo C30 Electric project has slated an initial production run of only 250 vehicles.\"

If the price is compatable to the LEAF, I think that the Volvo C30 will prove a popular car. The electric car is here to stay.

Adrian Akau

EVs should be lighter, not heavier ( 600). And they should be more aerodynamic. Putting an electric motor in an ICE platform is just plain stupid. This was all explained 30 years ago by RMI with their hypercar concept.

As for road congestion, the problem is not too many cars, but inefficient roads. This will continue as long as people support gov built roads. Public works are grossly inferior to private enterprise. A private road system would solve congestion, safety, and high cost problems inherent in public roads.

Post a Comment

Login with your Gizmag account:

Related Articles
Looking for something? Search our articles