Driving reviews are very good. The C-30 may be ready for the mainstream market by 2014. More specs for the C-30 here. The car has been named the "Green Car of the Year" in China at the 4th China New Energy Summit.
The Volvo V60
The new PHEV claims a combined fuel economy of 150 mpg. This figure is highly generalized, depending on a number of factors, but does show a concern for fuel efficiency. How is this possible?
For starters, the V60 caries a 12 kWh battery pack. This is a huge pack for a hybrid, not quite the size of the Chevy Volt's 16 kWh, but big enough to provide driving on electric mode for more than just a few miles, as with most Hybrid EVs these days. The battery packs are mounted so as to give the car a near perfect 50/50 weight distribution, enhancing handling of the car.
The V60 can be placed in an electric only "Pure" mode enabling electric only driving for some 30 miles. Electric power is provided by a rear mounted 50 kW motor giving a 62 mph electric only top end. It is interesting that Chevy Volt drivers have found that electric only mode is often all they need.
On the other end, the "power" mode syncs up the 215 hp diesel engine with the electric motor. The combination gives the car a zero to 60 mph acceleration time of under 7 seconds.
The 'default" driving mode leave choice of power up to the computer. The car will select the best programmed combination of electric/diesel for road conditions.
The car features electro-mechanical AWD configuration. Besides the usual front wheel drive, the system employs the rear electric motor as part of the system to provide power to the rear wheels in low friction situations.
Test drives at the time are limited, but reviews are all positive. Volvo quality at work. The company reports that the V60 is basically a test platform for mode hybrid models. We wait for more.
Volvo is installing and testing an on board charger that can top off the pack in 90 minutes, or fill up enough for a 50 mile range in 30 minutes. The 22 kW charger plugs into a three phase (commercial type) source. The charger can also plug into a single phase house type 220 volt line and fill the pack in 8-10 hours.
Volvo has two new EVs: all the electric C-30 and the Hybrid (PHEV) V60. Volvo plans to begin by making 250 C-30 cars for European only distribution in 2012. Volvo will also fleet
test 100 C-30 cars in the USA. The V60 is a pre-production model, also for Europe only distribution.
The Volvo C-30
The Belgian built (Chinese owned) C-30 claims a practical range of around 93 miles (150 km). Top speed of the car is some 81 mph or 130 kph. Zero to 30 mph or 50 kph is given as 4 seconds. The car is pricy however, at $2,100 USD per month for the 3 year lease only option to drive one home.
Electric power is provided from 2 independent Ener1 produced battery packs with a total of 24 kWh storage....the same as the Nissan Leaf. The packs send energy to a 90 hp electric motor.
Each battery pack features its own controller as a backup in case of pack failure. In addition, the battery pack can be warmed to room temps by a built in alcohol fired heater. The pack may also be cooled if too hot. Great idea considering that pack storage drops dramatically in cold weather, and loses in heat as well.
The Volvo Electric Car - C-30
China Green Car of the Year