Volvo C30 Electric tested battery system in winter conditions


It may be warm here in California but it is sure cold now in Northern Sweden. And that is the perfect weather for Volvo engineers to set out to test the new Volvo C30 Electric. The electric car is exposed to rough winter conditions to ensure that the battery-powered car can handle temperatures as low as -20 degree Celsius, yikes!

Roughly about 200 different stringent tests have been performed on the Volvo C30 Electric in cold conditions. Next test stop will likely to take place in the desert somewhere for hot weather scenario.

“We must ensure that the C30 Electric performs as intended when driving, parking and charging in a variety of conditions, from normal to very cold or hot. Northern Sweden is the perfect place to do sub-zero temperature testing,” says Lennart Stegland, director of Volvo Cars’ Special Vehicles.

Here is what we know so far about the new Volvo C30 Electric. To achieve total temperature control of the car, it will be equipped with three different climate systems: one for passengers to control the heating and cooling, one to cool or warm the battery pack, and the third one to cool the electric motor and electronic system.

To reduce electricity consumption on the Volvo C30 in cold weather, engineers equipped it with a bio-ethanol powered heater. As a result, the driving range will not be affected when a driver turns on the heater.The ethanol tank has a capacity of 3.83 gallons, which will last a couple of weeks on a normal usage. Although ethanol is the default mode, the driver can switch to electricity to power the climate system on a short trip.

Volvo has not announced when the Volvo C30 Electric will be released to the market, but at this testing stage, it will likely be available in late 2012. Stay tuned, we’ll keep you posted on more details of the Volvo C30 Electric, especially the driving range on a single charge.