- Nov 16, 2009
Volvo's DRIVe vehicles go from UK to Italy on one tank, win award, drive virtual Facebook miles
Volvo C30 DRIVe - click above for a high-res image gallery
Volvo's DRIVe range, which have lower CO2 emissions compared to standard models, have managed to win the person responsible for the range, Ulf Nordström, Talentia's "Intrapreneur of the Year" award. What's so good about these vehicles? Well, Volvo recently showed off how frugal they are by having European journalists drive the two new diesel DRVEe models, the V70 and S80, from Volvo UK's HQ in Marlow to Milan, Italy on one 70-liter (18.5 U.S. gallon) tank of fuel. The distance between these two points? 814 miles, which would mean real-world fuel economy of at least 44 mpg. With a few smart choices regarding cruise control and when to apply the brakes, this mission was accomplished.
Interested in navigating a Volvo DRIVe C30 around the world using absolutely no fuel? It can't be done in real life, but you can try on Facebook, where Volvo is sponsoring a charity contest to use your connections to drive virtual miles and then pass it off to your friend, who does the same. The winning team will get money donated in their name to offset one person's lifetime CO2 emissions. Let's see if this turns out to be more popular than Ford's Fusion Hybrid app.
[Source: Volvo, Global Post]
DRIVe Around The World unique challenge in connections
How well connected are you? With the contest "DRIVe around The World" Volvo Cars takes another step towards harnessing the power of social networking. The contest challenges people to virtually drive a Volvo C30 around the world in 80 days, using only their Facebook friends. Volvo Cars will donate 15,000 Euros in the winning team's name to a carbon offset project promoted by myclimate.
Facebook is a meeting place where at least a hundred million people log on every day. And this 80-days-around-the-world contest can be seen as a type of social experiment; a challenge for the participants to see how well connected they really are.
"DRIVe Around The World is based on the philosophy that any given person is connected to the rest of the world's population by only six degrees of separation. Our idea is to create a compelling experiment that encourages people to get in touch with one another in a new and unique way," says Lukas Dohle, who is in charge of Live Communication and Social Media at Volvo Car Corporation in Gothenburg, Sweden.
The contest will begin on November 16 and ends on February 5. It can be accessed either by logging on to VCC's Facebook page www.facebook.com/volvo where you can also read about it, or by logging on to the contest directly at apps.facebook.com/drivearoundtheworld.
Put simply, the purpose of the contest is to drive the economical, fuel-efficient Volvo C30 DRIVe round the world, using a network of contacts. The Volvo C30 DRIVe has a fuel consumption of only 3.8 litres per 100 kilometre. That enables it to cover 1,333 km (825 miles) on a tank of fuel. This means that each participant drives the car for 1,333 virtual kilometres before passing it on to a Facebook friend, who in turn does likewise. The circle is completed when the car returns to its original starting point.
The various teams' routes round the world can be followed on Volvo's Facebook page.
The winning team's reward will be in the form of a donation of 15,000 Euros to a carbon offset project through the organisation myclimate for the purpose of reducing global warming. Myclimate works according to the Gold Standard, which is certified by the U.N. and has been formulated by, among others, WWF International and Greenpeace International. The donation is enough to neutralise the amount of carbon dioxide generated by the average person during a long lifetime.
For each additional driver Volvo Cars will contribute funds that are the equivalent of 99 grams of carbon dioxide, which is the level of a Volvo C30 DRIVe's emissions per kilometre.
"This challenge ties in with Volvo's new campaign 'There's More To Life Than A Volvo, that's why you drive one.' by highlighting how vital our personal connections are in making the world a better place. And when the competition is finally concluded, Volvo will have found in the winning team the world's arguably most well-connected people," says Lukas Dohle.
Ulf Nordström "Intrapreneur of the Year" in Sweden
Ulf Nordström, technical project manager at Volvo Cars, has been given the "Intrapreneur of the Year" award by recruitment agency Talentia. Ulf Nordström is the person behind the DRIVe models.
"A real surprise! It's great for Volvo Cars - and for me of course," says a delighted Ulf Nordström.
The DRIVe project started with the C30, S40 and V50, which were presented in autumn 2008. It continued at the Geneva and Frankfurt motor shows this year, and the DRIVe range now covers seven models. In addition to the C30, S40 and V50 there are the S80, V70, XC70 and XC60.
DRIVe is one of the factors that put Volvo Cars back on the green map. A Volvo V70 that consumes less than 5 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres is big news. Consumers have taken note - and so have the media.
"The project that we started just two years ago now accounts for about 20 percent of our total sales. There have been fantastic reports in the media on our DRIVe models. And there's more on the way," says Ulf Nordström.
Like what, for instance?
"I'm not able to reveal any details right now. But I can say we're working flat-out. Next year we will probably unveil a revolutionary solution that will reduce fuel consumption still further."
With so many new ideas helping to bring about such considerable reductions in fuel consumption, Talentia kept a close watch on Volvo Cars and Ulf Nordström. Last Friday he received the award from the hands of former SAS president Jan Carlzon in the presence of about 500 people in Stockholm.
Praises the team
"It is naturally a great honour to have one's achievements recognized in this way. I must say, however, that it is not I who won the award but rather my entire team and Volvo Cars. We've worked together really hard to get here," says Ulf Nordström.
Here are some of the most notable details of the DRIVe models that help cut their fuel consumption (all are powered by diesel) and thus also their carbon dioxide emissions:
* Improved aerodynamics, including underbody panels, lowered chassis and redesigned rear spoiler
* Partially covered grille, new front spoiler and wind deflectors for the front wheels
* New low-friction tyres with aluminium wheels
* Nye management system for the engine (1.6D), new gearbox oil, new power steering system
* Intelligent battery recharging (the battery is charged only when the accelerator pedal is released)
* Start/stop function (the engine switches off when the gear lever is in neutral and the clutch pedal is released, for instance at traffic lights)
"Intrapreneur of the Year" is a new Swedish award. It is given to people who have "demonstrated an extraordinary ability to discover possibilities and realize ideas as well as organize and create resources to achieve outstanding results".
In addition to the award, Ulf Nordström will be offered three coaching sessions and will also receive a specially created inspiration grant. Six people were nominated to the final round. More information is available at Talentia's website.