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March 23, 2008

Volvo's Development of Plug-in Hybrid Car: Volvo ReCharge Concept

Plug-in hybrid with battery-only range of 60 miles - and a combustion diesel engine for backup power.


Volvo Hybrid


Volvo Hybrid


The Volvo ReCharge Concept is a plug-in hybrid with individual electric wheel motors and batteries that can be recharged via a regular electrical outlet for maximum environmental benefit.

Recharging allows the car to be driven about 60 miles (100 km) on battery power alone before the car's four-cylinder diesel engine is needed to power the car and recharge the battery.

The ReCharge Concept has been developed at the Volvo Monitoring and Concept Center (VMCC), the Volvo Car Corporation's think-tank in Camarillo, California.

"This is a ground-breaking innovation for sustainable transportation. A person driving less than 60 miles a day will rarely need to visit a filling station. In the USA, this may apply to almost 80 percent of drivers," says Magnus Jonsson, Senior Vice President Research and Development at Volvo Cars. According to him, this plug-in hybrid car, when used as intended, should have about 66 percent lower emissions of carbon dioxide compared with the best hybrid cars available on the market today.


Volvo Hybrid

See Volvo Recharge Concept Movie

An electric motor at each wheel -- the Volvo ReCharge Concept shown combines a number of the latest technological innovations into a so-called "series hybrid" where there is no mechanical connection between the engine and the wheels.The battery pack integrated into the luggage compartment uses lithium-polymer battery technology. The batteries are intended to have a useful life beyond that of the car itself. Four electric motors, one at each wheel, provide independent traction power. Four-cylinder 1.6-litre turbo diesel engine (109 hp) drives an advanced generator that efficiently powers the wheel motors when the battery is depleted.

Electric car with a combustion engine as backup -- in principle, the Volvo ReCharge Concept is a battery electric car with an efficient generator, an Auxiliary Power Unit (APU), that steps in when battery charge becomes insufficient for adequate driving performance.

The driver can choose the power source -- the combustion engine starts up automatically when 70 percent of the battery power has been used up. However, the driver also has the option of controlling the four-cylinder diesel engine manually via a button in the instrument panel. This allows the driver to start the engine earlier in order to maximize battery charge, for instance when out on the highway in order to save battery capacity for driving through the next town.


Volvo Hybrid

Photo: Ichiro Sugioka, project manager for the Volvo ReCharge Concept, in front of the ReCharge Concept car.

"There is a considerable difference between our plug-in hybrid and today's hybrids. Today's hybrids use the battery only for short periods to assist the combustion engine. Our solution is designed for most people to run on electric power all the time, while providing the extra security that comes with having a combustion engine as a secondary source of electrical power," says Ichiro Sugioka, project manager for the Volvo ReCharge Concept. He adds: "What is more, our C30 with plug-in hybrid technology retains its lively and sporty driving properties. Acceleration from 0-60 mph takes 9 seconds and top speed is 100 mph."


Volvo Hybrid


Volvo Hybrid


The Volvo ReCharge Concept is best suited to car drivers who cover moderate distances every day. For example, a commuter who has less than 60 miles to drive between home and workplace can cover the entire round trip on electric power alone, making the car a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) for most everyday driving.

Meanwhile, Volvo Car Corporation has just launched a 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.

The aim of the project, which is being carried out jointly by Volvo Car Corporation, Saab Automobile, Vattenfall (electric supplier) and ETC (battery provider), 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.
|GlobalGiants.com|


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Edited & Posted by Surender Hastir | 6:55 AM | Link to this Post


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