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Volvo ReCharge concept - Click above for hi-res image gallery

We know for sure that Volvo is in the midst of developing a new plug-in hybrid hybrid version of its V70 wagon using an electric motor to power the rear wheels and a diesel engine to power the front. That's exciting enough, but is there more greenery going on behind Swedish doors in the form of a pure electric vehicle that we're not aware of? Could be, according to an anonymous source quoted by the New York Times. For what it's worth, a Volvo spokesperson gave the expected "no comment" when prodded about the possibility of a fully electric model but stopped short of denying the speculation entirely.

If there's any truth to this rumor, an electric version of the small C30 hatchback could be in the works, likely sharing a number of components with its hybrid stablemate. We would also guess that Ener1 could be tapped to provide lithium ion battery packs since the American company is providing the 11.3 kWh power packs for the Volvo's plug-in project. A curious case of intrigue indeed.



[Source: NY Times]


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  • 18 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is a very handsome vehicle. I've admired it for a long time, but as mentioned above, its not geared for fuel efficiency (so its out!). An EV version? Oh baby! Yes!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      EV or range extender is the only way to go, as PH hybrids are just a waste of time and money. You will never get any decent mileage with a PH hybrid.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The C30 is a great car in which to base an EV or hybrid (much, much better than the Saturn Vue in the next post). I've driven one - good handling, good ride, good comfort, not too big nor too small. Yes, an EV C30 would be an awesome car!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Not bad, but Ford should follow Nisan's strategy and give us an EV Fiesta instead! This Trickle down strategy has so far played to niche markets.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, a different name would be a nice touch.
        • 5 Years Ago
        WORD!

        But they really need to call it something other than a "Fiesta." I hate that name, love the car, but hate the name.
      • 6 Years Ago
      So, this is another conversion (Mini-E) or a new EV platform with conventional looks and body panels (Tesla Roadster) ?

      Either way, it looks slightly better than the Nissan Leaf. I do wonder about the small plug at the front being enough for fast charging. Also, it doesn't look too aerodynamic to me...
        • 6 Years Ago
        They say 11.3kWh for battery pack. Leaf has 24kWh - so range for Volvo would be less than 50 miles...
        (perhaps it's for plugin hybrid version then?)
      • 6 Years Ago
      I hope this is true. I like the shape of the C30.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ppl, I'm not sure we're talking about the same thing here, but this "rumour" has been around for yeeaars... Have a look at http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/09/volvo_recharge.php. Same pix and all. Volvo also had a little corner at the Geneva motor show, so this blog might've just attributed a little to the never-ending rumour (knowing the state that Volvo's in currently...?) Also check out youtube, keyword Volvo ReCharge - there's vids of a running prototype.

      Important detail: the original plan was to provide it with in-wheel motors from PML FlightLink (the same company that is used by the Lightning GT, or was it the Fisker?) But now that they seem to've gone bankrupt, that might've changed. Quite a pity if it did. Furthermore: Volvo initially planned to use a bioethanol ICE as a range extender, not diesel. Not that it matters tho.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Good, maybe I'll finally be able to consider a C30. For such a small car it gets terrible fuel economy.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Here's what happened at Volvo: ( insider news)

        They had started an EV program with serious ambitions to produce electric cars.
        In came a new manager, who thought wheel motors are the way to go (with little research)....then we saw the concept car shown in this thread.

        FYI: The car cost millions to make, yet it doesn't work...it's riddled with problems. In other words, it's unlikely that wheel motors will propel our cars anytime soon. I suspect Volvo fired the guy responsible for it (wastes years and millions of dollars with a concept that can't be taken to production), and switched back to regular EV.

        • 6 Years Ago
        They already have fuel-efficient versions of the C30, including the 1.6-liter diesel model with start/stop, which gets "up to 72.4 mpg". (Imperial gallons, which would be about 60 mpg US.)

        It's too bad they only sell the 2.5-liter turbo version in the US.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Thanks for the info, a lot of times it's easy to forget that more efficient models are ALREADY available in other parts of the world. I can't understand why they think Americans will not buy them. I prefer manuals anyway, so that's actually a selling point for me.

        I've always thought the 2 electric wheels combined with 2 gas/diesel wheels would be the easiest solution. Although I would think you'd want regenerative braking to happen in the front for maximum regen...
        • 6 Years Ago
        I was unaware of the diesel version... our 19 city/28 highway 2.5t version is the only one I've seen. It looks sharp though, a hybrid or electric version would be interesting.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sorry, I didn't mean to imply hub motors, but rather that two of the wheels would be motivated by a separate electric motor so that there is no complicated two mode transmission or PSD. All you have is a rear wheel drive car with supplemental front wheel drive (or the opposite); that way they can be totally separate systems working together and giving you all wheel drive.

        Nick, sorry to hear about the setback. Remember that it only takes one moron to bring down a company full of great engineers.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Just FYI, here are all the different C30 models available across the pond:

        http://www.volvocars.com/UK/ALL-CARS/VOLVO-C30/WHICH/VARIANT/Pages/default.aspx

        Although it does look like the smaller engines are only available with manual transmissions.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The 11.3kwh pack is for the V70 plug-in.
      Expect at least 24kwh for an all-electric car. I'm surprised Volvo don't use Altairnano, as their lithium titanium batteries give better cold weather performance.
      The Swedes are often pretty clever about providing ancillary warmers to get things going at low temps though.
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