Is Volvo Building an Electric Car?

By dancurranjr On August 8th, 2009

VolvoThere has been Internet chatter that Volvo, which has already said it will make a plug-in hybrid vehicle, will also produce an electric version of its C30. Then the other day, a source who is pretty high up in the electric car industry and who has done some work with Volvo, told me that the electric C30 was more than a rumor.

“Am I reasonably confident that the battery E.V. is a go? Yes,” said the source, who asked not to be identified out of concern that it would harm future business dealings with Volvo. The source estimated that initial volumes of the two vehicles together could total 5,000 to 10,000.

When asked about the E.V., Daniel Johnston, a spokesman for Volvo, said: “I can’t talk about it. Volvo is looking at quite a few alternatives.”

In July, Volvo said it was working with Ener1, an American lithium-ion battery supplier, on three plug-in hybrid demonstrator cars based on the V70. Ener1 is also a battery supplier to the Fisker plug-in hybrid sports car (to be built in Finland) and to the Think Global EV company (based in Norway).

The Volvo plug-in hybrids will be “put through their paces across Europe this fall as part of a rigorous development program leading up to the planned 2012 commercial launch of a production plug-in model,” Ener1 said in a press release. The company also said that the production cars will “feature somewhat different technology” from the demonstrators.

Rachel Carroll, a spokeswoman for Ener1, said it had been working with Volvo for three years and hoped that the company would be chosen to equip the 2012 production plug-in hybrid car.

A battery-only vehicle, based on the small C30 coupe, could presumably share some technology with the plug-in hybrid.

Since 2007, Volvo has had a joint venture partnership with one of Scandinavia’s largest utilities, Vattenfall, which is designing both home-based and public fast-charging systems. Lars G. Josefsson, president and chief executive of Vattenfall, said in a press statement that his company and Volvo were “developing the next-generation technology based on plug-in cars and various charging alternatives.”

That charging research would also benefit a Volvo battery-only car, if indeed one were in the works.

SOURCE: New York Times

Will Volvo’s 2012 Plug-In Hybrid Also Be a Diesel?

By dancurranjr On June 11th, 2009

The maker of some of the world’s safest vehicles will soon be the maker of one of the world’s most fuel-efficient vehicles. Volvo announced today plans to produce a plug-in hybrid vehicle that will be available in 2012.

“Most car journeys are short trips, for instance to and from work. We will be able to offer a product that fulfills this transportation need. In order to cover longer distances as well, the car will also be equipped with one of Volvo’s fuel-efficient diesel engines,” Volvo President and CEO Stephen Odell said in a press statement.

The new development will be a joint venture between Volvo and Swedish energy company Vattenfall. Volvo plans to create a plug-in version of an existing model rather than create a new one, and its charging systems will be developed and supplied by Vattenfall.

Volvo has previously stated its plans for a fleet of 10 plug-in hybrids. The Swedish car company did not name which of its existing cars will be the first to go plug-in, but last year Volvo road-tested the ReCharge Plug-in Hybrid, which is based on the C30 coupe platform and uses a diesel engine to power the lithium ion batteries.

A video on (posted by shows interviews with Volvo and Vattenhall executives explaining the partnership and features a diesel plug-in hybrid Volvo V70 that can travel up to 50 km (31 miles) on a single charge and be charged from a standard wall socket, which would cost Swedish owners approximately 3 euros per 100 kilometer (60 miles). Based on current currency exchange, that works out to approximately 7 cents per mile. The diesel engine uses 2 liters per 100 kilometer m (.5 gallon per 60 miles), according to the video.

Volvo also announced plans to debut three demonstration plug-in Volvo V70s this summer that will be used to gather information on customer driving habits and technology preferences. Vattenfall will be testing various concepts for high-speed home charging and developing a public charging and billing system infrastructure. The power company is also tasked with accelerating the vehicle’s charging time. The video shows a 8 kw battery being charged in 5 hours from a standard wall socket.

Source: CNET

Volvo Enters Hybrid Market

By dancurranjr On June 5th, 2009

volvoVolvo Cars, the Swedish unit of Ford Motor Co., and Swedish utility company Vattenfall AB have started a joint venture that will develop a new hybrid car that can be charged using a standard household wall socket.

The so-called plug-in hybrid, powered by both electricity and diesel, will be introduced on the Swedish market by 2012, Volvo said Monday in a statement. Volvo will make the cars and Vattenfall will develop the charging systems.

“This is an important business development for us and our partnership with Vattenfall allows us to take a giant step toward offering our customers cars with an even smaller environmental footprint,” Volvo Cars Chief Executive Officer Stephen Odell said in the statement.

SOURCE: Windsor Star

Volvo Group to Launch Electric Hybrid Technology for Energy-Efficient Forestry Machinery

By dancurranjr On June 2nd, 2009

volvoSveaskog, a publicly owned Swedish forest company, has started using the first example of the El-forest F14 forestry machine, the world’s first forwarder to utilize electric-hybrid technology. The forwarder was developed by El-forest AB with assistance from the Volvo Technology Transfer venture-capital company. It will be on demonstration at the Elmia Wood trade fair in Jönköping, Sweden on June 3-6, along with a wide range of other forestry machinery from Volvo Construction Equipment, as well as other products from the Volvo Group for the forest industry.

The electric hybrid technology in the El-forest F14 has attracted great interest among forest companies due, among other features, to the possibility of reducing fuel consumption by 20-50%, which sharply reduces carbon-dioxide emissions.

“In addition to the significant fuel reduction, productivity and operator environment were prioritized, and consequently, profitability for our customers,” says Per Wassén, Chairman of El-forest and Investment Director at Volvo Technology Transfer, which is owned by AB Volvo.

The El-forest F14 is a series hybrid involving a smaller diesel engine that drives a generator that, via batteries, provides electric energy to electric motors in the forwarder’s six wheels.

“The drive technology developed has great potential, since, for example, the diesel engine could be replaced by alternative biofuel engines or even with fuel cells in the future,” says Per Wassén.

The El-forest F14 is lighter than a conventional forwarder of the same size, but can cope with the same load. There is less impact on the forest environment due to a patented frame structure that enables all electric-driven wheels to follow the same track with adapted speed.

Volvo Technology Transfer AB focuses on developing and supporting new businesses relevant to the Volvo Group. Part of the effort is to invest in companies and projects that are technologically and commercially attractive.

SOURCE: The Auto Channel

Volvo Plans Diesel Hybrid by 2012

By dancurranjr On October 9th, 2008

Volvo Car Corp. will introduce a diesel hybrid in 2012 if not sooner, while start-stop technology will arrive in 2009, company executives said here at the auto show.

The hybrids will be sold in Europe and the United States.

The start-stop technology, which turns off the engine at stops, will be introduced on Volvo’s smaller cars, such as the C30, S40, and V50. Later, start-stop will be spread to the rest of the lineup.

Diesel hybrids will appear first in the larger sedans, crossovers, and SUVs.

Volvo’s hybrids will be able to operate on battery power alone at low speeds. In the Volvo system, the front wheels are driven by a variant of Volvo’s five-cylinder turbodiesel, while the rear wheels get a separate electric motor.

A plug-in variant will come “very quickly” after the initial hybrid arrives, said Magnus Jonsson, Volvo’s senior vice president of r&d. Plug-ins use household current to recharge the battery, reducing the need for gasoline or diesel fuel.

Diesel engines and electric motors have an inherent shortcoming: both have ample low-end torque but lack high horsepower at high rpm. Nevertheless, the combination makes the most sense for reducing carbon dioxide emissions, said Lex Kerssemakers, Volvo senior vice president of brand, business, and product strategy.

Volvo also is studying whether to stop using V-8 engines in favor of turbocharged six-cylinder engines on its high-end models, Kerssemakers said.

“I don’t think there is a bright future for the V-8, especially for Volvo,” he said. “It’s the best engine we have. But if the environment is changing, you can be stubborn, or you can look for alternatives.”

Source: CNET