Fresh off of the release of the all new Volvo C30 hatchback, the safety conscious Swedish automaker is also planning on producing an electric vehicle version of the new car. The electric Volvo will be known as the C30 Battery Electric Vehicle and will be powered exclusively by batteries feeding electric motors which will result in absolutely zero emissions and give the Volvo C30 BEV a range of up to 150 kilometers.

2010 Volvo C30 BEV
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Volvo has already built a handful of the BEVs in order to conduct internal testing with the electric vehicles and advance their development of a plug in hybrid Volvo that is set to debut sometime in 2012. The Volvo C30 BEV is currently powered by a highly efficient Lithium-ion battery that can be recharged through a regular A/C power outlet, and after eight hours of storing juice is ready to travel up to 150 kilometers, perfect for the everyday commute to work or even a quiet and carefree Sunday drive. The C30 BEV is limited to 130 km/h and sprints from 0 to 60 MPH in less than 11 seconds.

Volvo feels that electricity is the fuel of the future and that zero emissions highways are what the next generation of new car buyers will be looking for. By combining an environmentally friendly power train with a stylish hatchback body, the Swedish automaker feels that the 2010 Volvo C30 BEV is the car of the future.

Press release after the jump.

Press release

It looks like a regular Volvo C30 and it features the very same safety, comfort and space as the standard car. The difference is that it is powered solely by electricity, entirely without exhaust emissions, and has a range of up to 150 kilometres.

Volvo Cars’ ambitious electrification strategy has quickly produced concrete results. In addition to the market introduction of a plug-in hybrid in 2012, work is currently under way on evaluating the viability of an entirely electric-powered car known as a BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle).

In 2009, a small number of prototype versions of the C30 BEV have been built and tested internally by Volvo. In addition to focusing on performance and safety, much of the focus is on integration of the electric propulsion system with the rest of the car.

2010 Volvo C30 BEV
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"The Volvo C30 is the first model we will try out with electric power. This car’s excellent properties in city traffic and its relatively low weight make it particularly suitable, since electric cars are primarily expected to be used in and around cities and for daily commuting," says Lennart Stegland, Director of Volvo Cars Special Vehicles.

Technical solution

Electricity is highly suitable as a fuel for passenger cars. It is the superior energy efficiency of the electric motor compared with the combustion engine which suggests that electric cars will become increasingly common in the future as fuel prices rise and demands for low CO2 emissions become ever more stringent.

The Volvo C30 BEV is powered with a Litium-Ion battery that is charged via a regular power socket found in most homes.

Recharging an entirely depleted battery via the regular household power supply system (230V, 16A) will take about eight hours. If the car is charged with renewable electricity this means that emissions - all the way from electricity production to its use out on the road - will in principle be non-existent.

2010 Volvo C30 BEV
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The electric motor is housed under the bonnet, just like the engine in a conventional car. One of the priorities within the BEV project is to find the optimal placing of the battery. Most likely is the prop shaft tunnel and the place where the fuel tank normally is located the best places. These locations are within the car’s optimised crumple zone in the most common collision scenarios. Since the car runs solely on electricity, it requires a larger battery with higher capacity (24 kWh) than in the case of the plug-in hybrid (12 kWh).

Battery capacity

The C30 BEV is limited to a top speed of about 130 kilometres an hour, which will be more than sufficient for most users of this type of car. Acceleration from 0 to 100 kilometres an hour will take less than 11 seconds. The car will have a range of up to 150 kilometres. This range is longer and far better than the distance 90 percent of all Europe’s motorists drive per day.

The same safety standards as always

Volvo Cars imposes the very same high safety standards on all its products irrespective of the type of fuel or power source used. Volvo’s safety dedication is always focused on the human being and is based on solid know-how of real-life traffic situations. What is more, comprehensive in-house tests are carried out both virtually and in Volvo’s highly advanced crash-test laboratory. If Volvo chooses to introduce an entirely new type of electric car on the market, it will be just as safe as any other car bearing the Volvo badge.

Volvo has theoretically identified all the electrification-related safety scenarios in the stages before, during and after a collision. After careful study of these scenarios, the company’s engineers will create solutions for handling each and every situation identified, guaranteeing that any future electric cars fully match Volvo’s renowned safety standards in every respect.

2010 Volvo C30 BEV
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Market potential

Volvo Cars’ main electrification track over the coming decades is plug-in hybrids. This applies in particular to the company’s larger car models. The combination of electric motor and combustion engine is the solution that probably has the greatest potential from both the technical and commercial viewpoints. Plug-in hybrids offer long range, good environmental performance and at the same time limited dependence on expensive battery technology.

There are several factors that determine how successful dedicated electric cars will be in the future:

"The consumer must feel that this type of car is attractive both to drive and own. In order to ensure this, we feel that electric cars will have to be as comfortable and safe and offer similar levels of performance as cars with other power sources. The learning from the C30 BEV project will help us to fulfil all these criteria and showcase Volvo’s determination to drive developments in the field of electrification," says Paul Gustavsson, Director of Electrification Strategy at Volvo Cars.

Alina Moore
Alina Moore
Alina Joined the team in the early 2000s as one of the outlets very first experts, and she’s been with ever since. Over the years, she’s served various roles, but today she’s is relied on heavily to verify automotive facts, assist with formatting, and discover new and engaging topics.  Read full bio
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Show Comments


  (727) posted on 12.18.2011

Well, Volvo is the safest car; that’s why someday I’m going to buy this because it’s not just about interior’s or something. It’s for myself. Right?

  (197) posted on 12.13.2011

It looks so decent and exclusive on its body paint, and I would admit that I truly admire the exclusivity of this vehicle. I also noticed that it has a very comfortable and cozy interior which I really love the most on it.

  (434) posted on 10.10.2011

I’m already impressed with this C30 BEV, but the fact that the engine is an electric motor. I don’t think that it will be so reliable nowadays. As for the looks of it, it’s quite stunning.

  (484) posted on 09.28.2011

The body painted that they used gives the muscular image on this C30 BEV, and they are right that it is not really impressive in person, but the interior is so amazing.

  (498) posted on 09.22.2011

It’s already had the looks despite of having a simple platform and styling. The fact that it is so practical to use in everyday transportation, I would love to have this.

  (530) posted on 09.20.2011

When I see this C30 BEV on the road, I noticed and observe that this car is not really had an impressive styling and platform. It seems that it’s just an ordinary car.

  (309) posted on 10.14.2010

I like the Swedish cheeks too

  (806) posted on 10.14.2010

the current front is beautiful, looks masculine and dignified in a segment filled with "cute" i hope they don’t change it make it "cuter" the side profile near the c ar could use some work but i think there’s very little that needs change

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