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All-electric Volvo headed to Chicago

Posted by: Alex Navrotski

Volvo announced that it would be bringing their prototype all-electric C30 Battery Electric Vehicle to the Chicago Auto Show this February. Volvo intends to put a plug-in hybrid on the market by 2012, and this prototype hints that there's a lot to look forward to on that front. 

This all-electric version of the lightweight C30 stores power in a lithium-ion battery that plugs into a run-of-the-mill electrical outlet, with a full eight-hour charge providing a 93 mile range. The C30 BEV accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in under 11 seconds and tops out at 80 mph, well suited for commuters and city drivers (not that Chicago highway driving gets much faster.)  Because the electric motor lives up front and the rest of the car is straight production C30, Volvo says that the electric handles exactly like the original.
 
Volvo still emphasizes the safety of the C30 BEV, as well. The vehicle is packed with the manufacturer's usual laundry list of safety features, but one of their most unusual priorities has been finding the best place to house the battery. Using a combination of virtual and real-life crash tests, Volvo is making sure their battery tech won't add insult to injury by zapping you after a collision. They've found that the safest place to put the battery is in the drive shaft tunnel, though putting it where the fuel tank would be is good too.
Because Volvo has stated that they’re focusing more on plug-in hybrids, this will be a prime opportunity to get a feel for the electric portion of the hybrid they’ll undoubtedly come up with next. This is one car you'll definitely want to check out in Chicago.

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