Electric cars, including the Better Place Renault Fluence EV, of which 100 cars were launched on Israel’s roads in January of this year; are having issues involving safety factors. This includes GM’s Chevy Volt where lithium battery packs were catching fire in side impact crash tests. But now, Volvo, the car company that for years held one of the best auto safety records in the auto industry, is now coming out with an electric car model of its own: the Volvo C30 electric.
Like many other Volvo models, the C30, which was unveiled originally at the Detroit Auto Show in 2010 is not being designed to break any speed or driving range records. It takes its electric engine over 11 seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph (90 kph); and its cruising range is only around 90 miles or 150 kilometers on a full battery charge. It only has a top speed of 80 mph which is less than other electric models, especially electric sports models like the Tesla electric sports salons and roadsters. The C30 also needs 8 hours to recharge its 600 pound lithium battery pack.
But speed and cruising ranges are not the reason why this new Volvo and its sister, the Volvo 70 plug in hybrid model, are being developed. According to recent articles coming out about these cars, Volvo ” is applying the same commitment to safety—based on slow, conservative and rigorous testing and development—to its electric cars and plug-in hybrids.”
Since the company’s inception, Volvo has always emphasized safety factors over other virtues. That Volvo is building both a total electric model as well as a plug in hybrid is a good indication that the Swedish car company is realizing that the age of electric cars is coming. One advantage that the Volvo electric model may have other other EV cars, is the ability to recharge the car’s battery pack with a standard home electricity outlet; and not a special one requiring a monthly service ” monopoly agreement” like that being required by Better Place.
Volvos have been popular in countries like Israel for years, due to their safety and endurance qualities. These new models might find their way to Israel as well; providing they will be able find a way to get around Better Place’s current hold on the still emerging electric car market there.
The success of these Volvo models in Europe as well is still too early to determine. But Volvo car developers are not known for making ostentatious car innovations. They simply keep plugging away with models that eventually find their niche with the car buying public. And these new Volvo models may find a following as well among loyal Volvo owners.
Photo via Plug in Cars
More about electric cars and electric car safety issues:
Better Place Puts 100 Electric Cars on Israeli Roads
Volt Battery Catches Fire in Crash Test but Beats Renault Fluence EV
The Middle East Can Only Drool Over Tesla’s Electric Roadsters