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Volvo developing range extenders for EVs

Volvo is looking at three potential technology combinations to extend the range of its electric vehicles.


September 12, 2011
by Fleet Management staff

Fleet Management: July-August 2011 Print Edition

Volvo, with support from the Swedish Energy Agency and the EU, is looking at three potential technology combinations to extend the range of its electric vehicles. Tests of the various concepts will get under way in the first quarter of 2012.

The company’s technological developments include three-cylinder gas engines added to complement electric drive. All the variants feature regenerative braking technology. The engines can run on both gasoline and ethanol (E85).

“This is an exciting expansion of our increasing focus on electrification. Battery cost and size mean that all-electric cars still have a relatively limited operating range. With the range extender, the electric car has its effective range increased by a thousand kilometres—yet with carbon dioxide emissions below or way below 50g/km,” says Derek Crabb, vice-president powertrain engineering at the Volvo Car Corporation.

Two of the solutions are based on the Volvo C30 Electric. In both cases, the standard battery pack has been reduced in size to make room for the combustion engine and its fuel tank. Both variants will extend the range by 1,000km, from the standard electric-only 110km range of the lower-powered car and from 75km for the turbocharged 300hp version.

The third concept is based on the V60, with a different engine configuration.