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What Happened To The Electric Future At Volvo

Posted By G Living Staff Monkies On September 7, 2009 @ 12:02 am In Alternative Vehicles,G/Videos | No Comments

Updated on Volvos push to become an electric car company. The company says they have a 5 year $1.2 Billion investment and plan to bring the Recharge concept to market. The project started back in 2006 and they showed off the Prototype C30 in 2007. Since then the company seems be in hiding and may even be on the chopping block and sold off by the parent company Ford. They are looking for buyers, but no takers as of yet.

Ford vice president of sales and marketing Ken Czubay said in a statement.: “We continue to operate in a very challenging economic and competitive environment,”

What does that mean, for all the very promising technology designed into the C30? Will we ever see it in a Volvo or any of the other Ford brands? Isn’t this exactly the thing Ford needs to save their company? The prototype test vehicle uses the same type of technology GM says they are rolling out in the Volt. An electric motor system assisted by a small gas engine generator, which would only produce electricity for the electric motors to us. The Volvo concept takes that a step further by placing the motors in the wheels.

The Prototype C30 Technology test and concept vehicle that works: an electric car with a combustion engine as backup. It’s called the Volvo ReCharge, and it reminds us a lot of the Chevy Volt. Except that it looks likes a Volvo C30 hatchback and has funky green wheels.

But green or not, the wheels are among the vehicle’s coolest features. Each has an individual motor, providing all-wheel drive propulsion with independent traction power. The lithum polymer battery pack in the trunk can be easily recharged by plugging the car into a standard electrical outlet. A full charge takes about three hours and will go about 62 miles until the four-cylinder Flexifuel engine has to kick in to power the car and recharge the battery. (If you only need to go thirty miles, an hour charge will do.)

And did I mention that the engine-generator has enough juice to provide energy to your house in the event of a power failure? Bet your biodiesel can’t do that. What about the CO2 emissions? 66 percent lower than today’s best hybrids – maybe even lower if the power comes from CO2-friendly sources like biogas, hydropower and nuclear.

“There is a considerable difference between the Volvo plug-in hybrid and today’s hybrids. Today’s hybrids use the battery only for short periods to assist the combustion engine. Volvo’s solution is designed for most people to run on electric power all the time, while providing the extra security that comes with having a combustion engine as a secondary source of electrical power,” says Ichiro Sugioka, project manager for the Volvo ReCharge Concept (via Business Week).

The best news for us quick commuters? The intimation that a person driving less than 60 miles a day will rarely need to visit a gas station. That’s what I want to hear.

Volvos Concept Explained

The Volvo Electric System In Development Explained

Volvos Test Recharge Prototype in a driving test.

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