We were already aware that Volvo has been working on a plug-in hybrid version of its compact C30 for some time with the intent of introducing a production model in 2012. In Frankfurt this week, Ford's Swedish outpost also showed off a full battery electric version of the hatchback. Volvo has apparently been testing several prototypes already this year. The 24 kWh lithium ion battery pack is installed in the center tunnel of the car. The electric motor and electronics remain in the standard engine compartment. Volvo claims the C30 BEV can go 93 miles on a full battery charge. The pack takes about 8 hours to charge from a 230 V 16 A outlet that is standard in Europe.
It's not clear if Volvo is collaborating with the Ford engineers working on the 2011 Focus-based BEV or following its own path. The C30 is built on the current European Focus platform. Volvo states that it will focus on PHEVs for the larger cars in its lineup, but hasn't decided whether to proceed with a production BEV.