In addition to the market introduction of a plug-in hybrid in 2012, work is currently under way on evaluating the viability of an entirely electric-powered car known as a BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle). In 2009, a small number of prototype versions of the C30 BEV have been built and tested internally by Volvo. In addition to focusing on performance and safety, much of the focus is on integration of the electric propulsion system with the rest of the car.
“The Volvo C30 is the first model we will try out with electric power. This car’s excellent properties in city traffic and its relatively low weight make it particularly suitable, since electric cars are primarily expected to be used in and around cities and for daily commuting,” says Lennart Stegland, Director of Volvo Cars Special Vehicles.
The electric motor is housed under the hood, just like the engine in a conventional car. One of the priorities within the BEV project is to find the optimal placing of the battery. Most likely the best places are the prop shaft tunnel and the place where the fuel tank normally is located. These locations are within the car’s optimised crumple zone in the most common collision scenarios. Since the car runs solely on electricity, it requires a larger battery with higher capacity (24 kWh) than in the case of the plug-in hybrid (12 kWh).
Volvo imposes the very same high safety standards on all its products irrespective of the type of fuel or power source used. Volvo’s safety dedication is always focused on the human being and is based on solid knowhow of real-life traffic situations. What is more, comprehensive in-house tests are carried out both virtually and in Volvo’s highly advanced crash-test laboratory. If Volvo chooses to introduce an entirely new type of electric car on the market, it will be just as safe as any other car bearing the Volvo badge.
Volvo has theoretically identified all the electrification-related safety scenarios in the stages before, during and after a collision. After careful study of these scenarios, the company’s engineers will create solutions for handling each and every situation identified, guaranteeing that any future electric cars fully match Volvo’s renowned safety standards in every respect.