At first glance, you might not pay much attention to the seemingly familiar Volvo C30 as it rolls by. But the unexpected absence of sound should be a clue that something is not quite as familiar as it first might seem.
That’s because the Swedish import’s conventional gasoline engine has been replaced by a small electric drivetrain. The C30 battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, is, for now, just one of a small fleet of prototypes, but if the until now secret development program pans out, it could bring Volvo’s entry into the small but fast-growing battery commuter car segment.
“The Volvo C30 is the first model we will try out with electric power,” explains Lennart Stegland, Director of Volvo Cars Special Vehicles. “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,”
While the automaker isn’t revealing all the details, yet, it appears the C30 BEV will use about 24 kWh of lithium-ion batteries, enough to give it a range of about 150 kilometers, or 94 miles, per charge. The relatively light and compact C30 should be able to accelerate from 0 to 100 kmh (0 to 62.5 mph) in “less than 11 seconds,” according to a corporate news release. Top speed is limited to 130 kmh (about 81 mph).