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Volvo C30 Electric (copyright image)

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Volvo's C30 Electric is now in production. Initial deliveries to leasing customers, mainly companies, authorities and governmental bodies, will take place from August, 2011.

The Volvo C30 Electric will be manufactured and delivered to leasing customers throughout Europe, including in Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands and Norway.

Tests on a fleet of about 50 cars have been conducted since September 2010, mainly internally at the Volvo Car Corporation. About 250 cars will be built by the end of 2012, possibly more if market interest takes off.

The Volvo C30 Electric is built on the regular assembly line in the Ghent factory and then transported to Göteborg (Sweden) for installation of the motor, batteries and other model specific electronics. The batteries are installed where the fuel tank normally sits and also in a special compartment in the car's central tunnel. As a result, the luggage compartment is unchanged.

The car is recharged from a regular household power socket. A full recharge takes about seven hours. The operating range is up to 150 kilometres per full charge. Top speed is 130 km/h and the C30 Electric covers the 0-100 km/h sprint in 10.9 seconds.

The Volvo C30 Electric project is part of the Volvo Car Corporation's electrification strategy for the forthcoming years.

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Surprisingly, Volvo Car Australia has expressed interest in the car.

"The C30 Electric car offers the very same comfort, interior space and safety as the standard version of the C30 but can operate on 150 km on pure electricity for zero emissions," says Volvo Car Australia Public Affairs Manager, Jaedene Hudson.

"Currently we offer our small car customers the C30 DRIVe which uses just 3.9 L/100 km and emits just 104g/km CO2."

"The C30 Electric is the next step in green motoring from Volvo. We've seen the initial information from Volvo Cars Corporation and have expressed interest in the car. The next stage will be to put together a business case to see if the car will be viable in our market."

Given the tiny production numbers for left-hand drive Volvo C30 Electric and Volvo's delay in getting an EV to market, the team at Next Car isn't expecting to see this new model in Australia this year or next. Rather, the electric vehicle market will be domain of Mitsubishi, Nissan and Renault who are already the clear front-runners in this segment of the market. Others, such as Ford, Holden and Toyota will come into the picture during 2012.


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