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Tony O'Kane | Sep 18, 2009

VOLVO HAS RELEASED details of its latest experiment in electric propulsion, the C30 BEV (battery electric vehicle), at the Frankfurt Motor Show this week.

The C30 BEV has been in the offing for a while now, and the C30's small car platform has been already been used as the basis for the ReCharge plug-in hybrid concept.

While the C30 BEV looks virtually production-ready (unlike the wilder ReCharge concept), it's simply an engineering study for now, with no immediate prospect of series production.

volvo_c30_bev_01

Built to evaluate the viability of a pure electric car in Volvo's line-up, the C30 BEV stores its power in a 24kWh lithium-ion battery mounted in the centre tunnel and (former) fuel tank area, and can travel up to 150km on a single charge.

Recharging the battery takes eight hours using a 230v household outlet, and performance is leisurely: the 0-100km/h sprint takes just under 11 seconds and top speed is around 130km/h.

volvo_c30_bev_02

Although a production version would give Volvo a solid competitor for the upcoming Mitsubishi i MiEV and Nissan Leaf, don't count on the Swedish automaker putting it on the assembly line just yet.

The company's immediate focus is on plug-in hybrid technology, and it intends to bring its first plug-in to market sometime in 2012.

Until then, Volvo fans with a green bent will have to be satisfied with the incoming start-stop equipped C30 DRIVe and fuel-efficient GTDi models.

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