Volvo Recharge Concept
Volvo ReCharge Concept

The Volvo ReCharge Concept on display at the Paris Motor Show is a groundbreaking plug-in hybrid. The specially designed Volvo C30 features individual electric wheel motors and batteries that can be charged via a regular electrical outlet.

When fully charged the Volvo ReCharge Concept can be driven approximately 62 miles on battery power alone before the car's four-cylinder combustion engine is needed to power the car and recharge the battery. The concept car also retains the Volvo C30's lively and sporty drive thanks to an acceleration figure of 0-62mph in 9 seconds and a top speed of 100mph.

"This is a groundbreaking innovation for sustainable transportation. This plug-in hybrid car, when used as intended, should have about 66 per cent lower emissions of carbon dioxide compared with the best hybrid cars available on the market today.  Emissions may be even lower if most of the electricity comes from CO2-friendly sources such as biogas, hydropower and nuclear power.  A person driving less than 60 miles per day will rarely need to visit a filling station.  Also, thanks to the excellent electrical range from a fuel consumption angle, the Volvo ReCharge Concept is exceptionally kind to the car owner's wallet," commented Magnus Jonsson, Senior Vice President Research & Development at Volvo Cars.

Operating costs are estimated to be about 80 per cent lower compared to a similar petrol-powered car. The Volvo ReCharge Concept is best suited for car drivers who cover short distances every day. For example, a car owner with less than 62 miles to drive between home and work can cover the entire distance on electric power alone. Even someone who covers longer distances than the range afforded by the batteries can count on significant environmental benefits. A trip of 93 miles that starts with a fully charged battery should use less than 2.8 litres of fuel.

The only extra cost will be the electricity used during charging. The Volvo ReCharge Concept can be charged at any regular electric plug socket at convenient locations such as at home or work and a full recharge will take three hours. However, even a quick one hour charge provides enough power to cover just over 30 miles.

During a journey the combustion engine starts up automatically when 70 per cent of the battery power has been used up. However, the driver also has the option of controlling the four-cylinder combustion engine manually via a button in the control panel. This allows the driver to start the engine earlier in order to maximise battery charge, for instance when out on a motorway in order to save battery capacity for driving through the next town.

"A certain proportion of electric cars will be an integrated part of our future product portfolio. Since the Volvo ReCharge Concept has an excellent operating range on battery power alone while at the same time integrating its own combustion engine for back-up power on the move, this is a highly interesting concept for the future," says Magnus Jonsson, Senior Vice President Research and Development at Volvo Cars.

Published : 02/10/08 Author : Melanie Carter

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