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Volvo C30 electric crash test – Click above to watch video after the jump

Watching a vehicle undergo a crash test is a real eye-opener. Not only do these destructive demonstrations show us how well vehicles can handle collisions (or not), but they also remind us that driving can be incredibly dangerous. Hitting an upright pole at a mere 30 miles per hour in Volvo's C30 electric vehicle (EV) concept could result in some serious bodily injury, as the crash video above shows us, but this particular example also reveals something else.

Volvo's C30 EV crash test video shows us that, although a severe frontal impact would render the car a totalled wreck, the vehicle's battery pack appears to have suffered no noticeable damage. Now, it's not like Volvo is trying to imply that the battery survived the ordeal in working order, but the video clearly shows that the integrity of the potentially dangerous li-ion unit remained intact. Hit the jump to watch the destruction and pay particular attention to the battery pack (highlighted in green) as it survives the assault virtually unscathed.

[Source: You Tube]



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  • 13 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Good video, but the results of the test are in the data not in the video.

      The voltage measurements around the high voltage system are the first interesting data. The isolation system between the HV and the rest of the vehicle cannot have failed, that means no direct or low ohmic connection between parts with HV on them and the vehicle chassis. Because of cables are easily cut and enclosures in the crumple area are easily crushed, that means the high voltage components need to be discharged below about 60V quickly (1-2 sec). It includes cutting off the battery from the bus and ensuring that all capacitors in the system are discharged, including the big ones on the drive motor power electronics.

      Then later on that day, that vehicle was strapped in a big contraption and slowly rotated bottom over top 360 degrees to see if there is any electrolyte leakage outside of that seemingly non-damaged battery enclosure.

      If you have trouble sleeping some night, search for FMVSS 305 and have a read.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Looks like the battery pack is about same position as it is in roadster. That's about safest place for it to be. Another safe place is flat pack underneath and middle of the car.

      Everyone needs to remember that battery pack is way less dangerous than gas tank. Even with flammable chemistries in use. However you might want to put some "airbag" in battery pack too in form of automatically activating fuses in high g impacts. Separating battery pack from high voltage systems.
        • 2 Months Ago
        Fortunately, they've already thought of your "airbag" idea. Kill switches triggered by a high-G event are standard equipment for high-speed EVs.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wonderful another automaker putting EV into its stable...
      and it probably doesn't drive like a Prius
      wait a minute....
      Didn't Volvo announce that it will not bring its C30 electric car to the U.S. market?
      Any chance that it would make it up to Canada?
      (We do like smaller cars up here, the Mazda 3 has been the best selling car here if I remember correctly)
        • 2 Months Ago
        Volvo brought the C30 to Canada a year before introducing it to the U.S. And Volvo offers Canadians an additional engine option not available in the U.S. So, it's possible.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Whoa, that's a pretty good crash test. Volvo did pretty well. The crash dummy's neck bending funky when it hit the air bag on the other hand...
      • 4 Years Ago
      A few young girls may all have died in a crash into a tree at 70 kmh near my home...not too fast for a vehicle here in Lux.
      Watch your speed! I have bullet proof bmw glass but these cars have none. Thus the glass alone looks explosive in this video which could blind the passenger & driver through simple disintegrating powdery glass in your eyes!
        • 2 Months Ago
        70 km/h is about 45 m/h.
        The test was performed at only 30m/h
        • 2 Months Ago
        Glass doesn't shatter in this video. Only a couple of cracks appear in windshield. What you see is airbag expansion gas that escapes in (open) side windows. What that smoke in the roof is is mystery to me. Maybe some sort of "this just activated" type of thing.
        • 2 Months Ago
        The one in the roof? That isn't airbag, that's something else.
        • 2 Months Ago
        The smoke is from the air bag pyrotechnic inflation cartridge.
        https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Airbag#How_airbags_work
      • 2 Months Ago
      "but they also remind us that driving can be incredibly dangerous"

      Your driver's license study material *should* have imparted this tidbit of information early on, but my guess is that after a couple of years, most people just ignore everything in there anyway.
      • 4 Years Ago
      How does the weight of this car compare with the equivalent diesel vehicle? This is main issue for any other vehicle involved or pedestrians.
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