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Click on the image for a gallery of high-res images of the Volvo C30 concept.

German auto website, Autobild, is reporting that Volvo is working on a plug-in diesel-electric hybrid with a similar powertrain design to the Chevy Volt concept unveiled at the Detroit Motor Show in early January. Like GM's E-Flex platform, the C30 will be driven by electric motors which run off a battery pack with a range of 50 to 60 kilometres. Once the batteries run down, a diesel engine fires up to run a generator which in turn recharges the batteries. Additionally, the C30 will have plug-in capabilities for overnight charging.

Currently under development in Volvo's California development centre, the hybrid C30 is to be presented Autumn this year at the Challenge Bibendum international sustainable mobility event in Shanghai.

Diesel is renowned for its fuel efficiency when running at a constant rate, hence diesel vehicle's great fuel economy on the highway. Utilising a diesel engine as a range-extended for the on-board battery pack should yield exceptional diesel fuel efficiency as well as near-zero emissions for shorter trips which utilise the batteries only.

Analysis: This development appears to encompass all the excitement of the innovative E-Flex plug-in electric platform, matched with the practicality of a highly efficient diesel engine. Plus, while the C30 is still a concept car, it looks closer to production than the radical Volt. Volvo and Ford might steal GM's thunder yet.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 18 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      " near-zero emissions for shorter trips which utilise the batteries only"

      (Sigh...) Where do these people think the energy in the battery comes from? A PHEV is 'plugged in', and uses emissions created somewhere else, most likely (in the US) from a coal burning power plant. It's not zero emissions, it's remote emissions. Lower, yes. Zero, no.

      Not that I have anything against PHEV's. I would probably buy one. But let's keep the true situation in mind.
      barryaclarke
      • 7 Years Ago
      I have a new Toyota Avalon and a Northstar Seville. My next automobile will be a plug-in and I will not buy until that time be it in the coming years of 2009 or 2010. I will make due with what I have. Soooo Detroit, take notice or take a back seat to the rest of the world auto makers. Oh, so sorry, you are almost there, arn't you?????
      • 7 Years Ago
      Hello;

      Just Love it. Bring it out, I will buy it. I have XC90 and XC70. Need one of these to round out the "fleet".

      Needs to be Passion Red with "SAND" interior--not the black or grey.

      Gary
      • 5 Years Ago
      Dave says, Volvo and Toyota are all behind the time.Heuliez in France is building a five seater with Michelin live wheels. have a look at Michelins wheel which incorporates suspension,drive,brakes and steering.Due on general sale 2011.
      • 8 Years Ago
      These are just pictures of the C30 concept car from last year. Nothing at all to do with the recently announced plug-in.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I contacted Volvo with questions as to when this car will be available. Looks like they're blowing smoke up our proverbial you know whats..
      I'll buy my Honda Hybrid.
      If you wait for a volvo and it looks like you'll be hitchiking.
      Don't you hate "Gonna guys?"
      • 7 Years Ago
      But there is a actual motor now!!! Check out this link, one step closer to the dealerships. :)

      http://www.autobloggreen.com/photos/volvo-recharge-phev-project/698542/full/
      • 7 Years Ago
      I also do not want to buy a new car unless it's a plug-in hybrid, though I'd want it to be able to do 30 miles all electric. I don't know if my car will last long enough though!
      • 8 Years Ago
      NanoSafe Batteries anyone?

      No overnight charge needed, just a 10 minute ultra charge and you are ready to go again for 130-250 miles. They are Lithium based but thanks to the new nano thechnology they won't get overheated and blow up. Check out the Electric Lightning GTS electric sports car.
      • 8 Years Ago
      In response to Jim:

      Yes, it is true that a lot of our electricity comes from fossil fuel burning plants, but the keyword is efficiency. A gasoline engine is only 33% efficient (1/3 the energy in the gas becomes mechanical). Power plants are capable of higher efficiencies.

      The other neat thing about electricity is that we can get it from virtualy anywhere. A waterfall, the wind, the sun, even lemons. Granted the electricity in a lemon is not enough to move a car, but it goes to show that electricity is a flexible fuel.

      Consider: Think about how much easier it is to get (almost) every power plant to change to renewable energy than getting every person in the world to change to a different kind of car. Electricity is flexible, efficient, and universal, so no matter what kind of energy sources we find, we can still power our cars.

      PG&E has an ideal model. If 2 out of three homes in the US whos roofs recieved direct sunlight installed solar panels on their roofs and attached it to the power grid, that would be enough to power almost everything. Add Electric car fuel demand, and renewable energy sources can be tapped.

      One thing I want to point out is that Chevys system seems to push forward the falsehood that battery technology is insufficient to power a car without an engine backup. This is simply not true. The tesla roadster can go 250 mi per charge. The only limit of the battery technology is the cost. But still, I think GM and Volvo can do better than 40 miles. I would like to see at least 80 mi all electric.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Tim: good eyes. I'm guessing that these pics are of the standard C30 Volvo's introducing this year (I think) rather than a mockup of the concept. There's no need for dual-exhaust pipes on what's essentially simply a diesel generator.

      I'm also guessing they'll go to LED taillights on a production version to draw less power from the batteries.

      Note there are no pictures of the "engine". I'm guessing Volvo came up with an idea of a diesel version of the Volt after seeing it at the Detroit show and has nothing physically built yet of this car. They'll now scramble to come up with a prototype in time for the event in Shanghai late this year.

      Oftentimes concept cars don't really have the theoretical engine they tout. I have heard that the SAAB Aero-X actually has a typical SAAB engine under the hood, not the 400 hp BioPower V6 behemouth it claims. Note you've never seen pics of the Aero-X with the hood open.

      Fact is, car companies have no problem lying about what engine is in their concept cars and oftentimes concept cars aren't even functional! That's what makes them a "concept" rather than a "prototype".
      • 8 Years Ago
      It has already caught the attention of the public..add to that the far-reaching ad campaign being launched by volvo..the interior is also one of the selling points of the car..this is due to the fact that the company has given much thought to every little detail of the vehicle - from volvo valve cover gasket http://www.swedishpartsshop.com/volvovalvecovergasket.html
      to the technologically advanced floating center stack.
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