Volvo Cars together with Etteplan is accelerating the development of an electric car with a target of “Zero Emission”. The project is called Volvo C 30 DRIVe Electric, and the car is based on the Volvo C 30 model with the same dimensions, functions, and safety features as the standard model. The car is charged by an electrical inlet which is placed in a discrete charging box in the grill. Etteplan has a central role in the technical solutions, which are extremely specific and crucial in order to develop and offer an attractive car for the consumers.
For consumers it is important that the electric car is not only good for the environment but also attractive to drive and own. To achieve this, Volvo’s electric cars have to be as comfortable, safe, and have the same performance as regular cars. Basic driving properties are on the same level or better than a 1.6 litre petrol engine car. Top speed is electronically controlled to 130 km/h and acceleration from 0-100 km/h takes 10.5 seconds.
Range and charging time are important characteristics, typical for all electric cars. Anything that consumes energy decreases the car’s range. This means that energy optimization of the car’s systems is even more important than when you have a traditional engine. To solve these challenges many new technical solutions are needed and it is here that Etteplan’s spearhead competence with engine, powertrain, and climate control system comes in. Etteplan’s responsibilities have primarily been in the fields of engine/powertrain installation, safety systems, vacuum support for the brakes, and involvement in the design of the new crash structure. Etteplan has also been involved in the battery climate control system, which is important for battery performance and durability. Additional work has been done for the climate control of the compartment and cooling of the engine/powertrain.
One interesting innovation is that the car regenerates energy to the battery while braking, which extends the range of the car. The car will be in low volume production in 2011.
Etteplan is participating in a number of electric car projects at the moment.