On the outside, the Volvo Recharge is simply a Volvo C30 compact hatchback. But the inner workings of this fascinating concept are what make this car truly exceptional. The Recharge is a series hybrid that uses cutting edge drive train (or lack thereof) technology that allows each wheel to be powered by individual electric motors, seen in such drivable concepts as the Venturi Volage and Eliica. This eliminates the need for bulky transmissions, a large central motor, and axles. So not only will this create less power loss and decreased weight, but you will have more room for cabin space and storage.
This plug-in hybrid has about a 60 mile range before a 1.6 liter diesel engine kicks in to generate more electricity. This is all on about a 3 hour charge. Therefore, most daily drivers will never need a drop of diesel. When the combustion engine is aiding the motors, the fuel efficiency is stated to be in the 40 mpg range. The car gets from 0-60 in 9 seconds, which won’t win any stop light drag races, but is sufficient for a commuter car. The Recharge has a top speed of about 100 miles per hour.
Here’s a view of the Volvo Recharge’s internals:
Volvo Press Release
Volvo Car Corporation launches unique cooperation for the development of plug-in hybrid cars in Sweden
Together with electricity provider Vattenfall, Saab Automobile, ETC and the Swedish state, Volvo Car Corporation is launching a joint broad-based research venture to develop spearhead technology in the area of plug-in hybrid cars. Sweden will be the arena for the field tests.
“I see this project as a positive further development of sustainable personal transport. We have a unique opportunity to take the lead when it comes to innovations for advanced green-car technology”, says Fredrik Arp, President and CEO of Volvo Car Corporation.
The aim of the project, which is being carried out jointly by Volvo Car Corporation, Saab Automobile, Vattenfall and ETC, is to develop and demonstrate the next-generation hybrid cars. A fleet of 10 plug-in hybrids will be produced that can be recharged directly from the mains wall socket.
Volvo has long experience of cooperation with a variety of society’s actors and with this project the company aims to participate in and shape decisions and initiatives that are taken both within and outside the car industry.
“We want to be involved in setting up the rules for the future and to help build up broad-based competence in Sweden in this vital area,” says Fredrik Arp.
Over a five-year period, Volvo will invest just over 11 billion SEK in development aimed at reducing fuel consumption and emissions. Volvo already offers its customers one of the industry’s widest ranges of Flexifuel engines. In parallel the company is continuing to enhance the efficiency of its petrol- and diesel-powered cars. 2008 will see the launch of car models that release less than 120 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre.
Volvo is also focusing intensively on hybrid technology. In the medium term the company will introduce hybrid variants where an electric motor supports the combustion engine. In the longer term, plug-in hybrids will be introduced. One example of this was presented in autumn 2007 with the Volvo C30 ReCharge Concept. Used in the most effective way, this concept car cuts emissions of carbon dioxide by about 65 percent compared with the hybrid cars available on the market today. And if the electricity comes from CO2-sustainable sources such as hydropower and windpower, this figure improves still further.