| 29th March 2011
Volvo has spent the last couple of months testing its C30 electric model in sub-zero temperatures.
The Swedish manufacturer is putting the electric hatchback through its paces in an attempt to squash any fears regarding EV (electric vehicle) safety.
In temperatures as low as -20° Celsius, the electric hatchback has been tested in more than 200 different ways.
Whilst Volvo has always been a leading name in terms of vehicle safety, the C30 has been tested more stringently than any other with specific methods designed solely to test the electric set-up and battery pack of the new C30.
The thorough trials are a follow on from the company’s display at the Detroit Motor Show where it showed a crashed C30 electric model to highlight electric car safety and how the battery pack and its increased weight make it more important than ever to properly test the technology.
Recently, Mitsubishi’s i-MiEV became the first electric car to be tested by European safety institution, Euro NCAP and the small electric city car achieved a four-star safety rating – just one star away from the maximum five star rating.
As well as testing the safety provision of the model, Volvo also carried out trials to see how the electric drivetrain would cope in freezing temperatures.
Volvo has made the car’s heating separate to the electric power used to run the car in its default drive mode in order to prolong the range of its battery pack.
To do so the Swedish manufacturer has devised a bio-ethanol heater that carries 14.5-litres of fuel at full capacity to manage the onboard temperature of the car.
Bio-ethanol is the default heating system on the C30 electric however driver’s can switch the system to electric if there are no concerns about range.
Lennart Stegland, director at Volvo Cars’ Special Vehicles commented on the testing:"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."
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