Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Posts Tagged ‘Volvo C30 electric’

Ener1 in Chapter 11 Despite Federal Energy Grant

Both Democrats and GOP could face political fall-out.

by on Jan.27, 2012

Ener1's finances took a serious turn for the worse when major client Think went broke last year - the Think City battery car shown here.

Ener1 Inc., the ambitious New York-based maker of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage, has filed for bankruptcy despite receiving $118 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Energy — and lavish-support from the Republican-controlled state of Indiana, home to one of the company’s principal factories.

The “pre-packaged” bankruptcy was filed after the company reached agreement with its primary investors and lenders on a restructuring plan “that will significantly reduce its debt and provide up to $81 million to recapitalize the company,” Ener1 officials said in a statement released after the filing.

Your Trusted Source!

Though Ener1 expects to continue operating and still hopes to eventually profit as battery car demand grows its bankruptcy filing could turn into a political football with both Democrats and Republicans pointing fingers.

The company’s statement said Ener1 expected to maintain its current employment level of approximately 700 and eventually repay creditors.  It has 275 employees in Indiana.

(more…)

First Drive: Volvo C30 Electric

Lease price, $2,100 a month, should plunge when next Volvo battery car debuts.

by on Mar.28, 2011

Volvo plans to produce only about 400 of the C30 Electric coupes, but the drivetrain will soon reappear in a new mass-market battery car.

The little coupe slips out the side door of a nondescript warehouse on the fringe of Indianapolis.  Tickling the throttle it surges ahead and effortlessly merges into traffic, yet so quiet it’s easy to miss as it rushes by.  Were it not for the bright white decals on the side of the car and the chrome DRIVe badge on the back one might not even notice the Volvo C30 Electric.

But the little coupe is the latest entry in a growing revolution, the move to electric power.  Later this year, Volvo will put 400 of the C30 Electric battery cars on the road, a quarter of them here in the United States.  They’re part of a project designed to test the new technology before Volvo launches a second battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, targeting a more mainstream market.

Subscribe Free!

Getting in on the pilot program won’t be cheap.  Volvo expects to lease the C30 battery cars for a whopping 1,500 Euros a month, about $2,100 at the current exchange rate.  That’s nearly six times more than you’d pay to lease either the new Nissan Leaf BEV, or the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid.

Even then, laments Lennart Stegland, president of Volvo’s specialty vehicle subsidiary, the Swedish maker won’t come close to recovering the cost of the development program, never mind the price tag on its 24 kilowatt-hours of lithium-ion batteries.  But so it goes, he sighs, as you launch into an entirely new world of technology.

(more…)

Volvo Line-Up Will Be Dominated by Battery Power

Maker adding two plants in China, but U.S. production still under study.

by on Mar.08, 2011

Volvo plans to offer the world's first diesel-electric plug-in hybrid in 2012.

Long identified with the latest in safety technology, Sweden’s Volvo is putting an increasing emphasis on battery power.  By the end of the decade, in fact, the majority of its products will be driven by hybrid-electric, plug-in or pure battery-electric powertrains, Volvo Chief Executive Stephan Jacoby reveals.

Until now lagging behind many of its competitors when it comes to the “electrification” of the automobile, Volvo is rapidly making up for lost time.  It is preparing to launch its first battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, a version of the compact C30.  And Volvo is using its stand at this month’s  Geneva Motor Show to give the public a look at the plug-in diesel-hybrid version of its bigger V60 wagon, which it plans to bring to market in 2012.

Subscribe Now!

“I would say the majority (if Volvo products) would use some form of electrification” by 2020, Jacoby, a former Volkswagen executive, revealed.  “I think the CO2 regulations will lead to that.”

Jacoby joined the Swedish maker last year after Volvo was acquired by the ambitious Chinese Geely Holding Co.  Last month, the parent firm revealed plans to invest as much as $11 billion into its new subsidiary, part of a global growth strategy that it expects to double Volvo sales. (more…)

Volvo Readying V60 Plug-in Diesel Hybrid

System creates virtual all-wheel-drive.

by on Feb.22, 2011

Volvo will unveil the world's first diesel-electric plug-in at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show.

Volvo will introduce what it bills as the world’s first diesel-electric plug-in hybrid at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show.

The system, which will be used to power the Swedish maker’s V60 wagon, will differ significantly from current hybrid powertrains, including traditional systems used in the Toyota Prius and more advanced plug-ins found in the 2011 Chevrolet Volt.  Volvo’s plug-in will create a virtual all-wheel-drive system, using the diesel to drive the front wheels and the electric motors to drive the rear.

Your Workhorse News Source!

The V60 plug-in will be the first electric drive model from Volvo – though the maker is also working up a pure battery-electric vehicle based on the smaller C30 — and its lithium-ion battery pack is expected to yield about 32 miles when running solely in battery made.  The rear-mounted electric motor can produce a maximum 70 horsepower.

But when the battery runs down – or extra power is needed – the 215-horsepower diesel kicks in.  When they’re both operating together in Sport mode, the two power sources can produce 285 hp and a full 472 lb-ft of tire spinning torque, launching the V60 diesel plug-in from 0 to 60 in just 6.9 seconds.

(more…)

EnerDel Announces New Lithium-Ion Battery Plant

Company says it will be the first mass producer of advanced technology lithium batteries for automobiles in the U.S.

by on Jan.22, 2010

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels (left) and Ener1 CEO Charles Gassenheimer holding an EnerDel lithium-ion battery.

Lithium-ion battery manufacturer EnerDel will invest $237 million in a new manufacturing plant near its Indianapolis area headquarters in order to meet anticipated demand for batteries used in automotive and other industrial applications.

The news follows a decision by EnerDel’s electric vehicle partner, Think, to establish a U.S. manufacturing facility in Indiana.

Backed by a mixture of private funds and public incentives, which are the current norm in the still moribund public lending markets despite multi-billion dollar taxpayer infusions of cash, the new facility will more than double EnerDel’s U.S. production capacity and create 1,400 new, non-union jobs.

Existing production capacity in what is still a prototype operation by automotive manufacturing standards, is 11,000 lithium-ion battery packs. However, demand is projected to soar during the next several years, if electric vehicles become as popular as environmentalists predict, and regulations and incentives increase the market.

Lithium ion batteries, though expensive, offer more  power and have a longer life than the nickel metal hydride batteries that are used in the third generation Toyota Prius, the most successful electrified vehicle in history. EnerDel produces the batteries from raw materials and equipment produced in Japan and Korea since there is no indigenous advanced battery industry in the U.S.

A large majority of the six-year-old  startup company’s central Indiana workforce is comprised of former employees of various General Motors companies, including Guide, Remy and Delco, storied producers of electronic components, which were severely damaged, downsized or closed as part of the Delphi and GM bankruptcies during the past several years.

Because of this long history, going all the way back to the invention of the electric starter by Charles Kettering for automobiles – an invention that thrust gasoline engines ahead and doomed an earlier generation of electric cars, Indiana seems ideally positioned to become an electric vehicle research and development center, as well as a manufacturing one. The current state rate of unemployment is 10%, about the national average, but some northern counties have much higher rates.

(more…)