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Batteries and cold climates often don’t mix well. Anyone who has tried to operate an electric device, like a camera that has been sitting in the cold, will soon find that the batteries have lost their charge.
This sort of issue isn’t catastrophic with a small device, just a little inconvenient. The same can’t be said about a car, which has to work in all climates.
Volvo currently allows select customers to lease the C30 Electric and worked hard to ensure that not only the car will work in cold climates, but also the car can generate heat to make its occupants feel more comfortable.
To prove what its car has achieved, the company staged an event in Finland to show what the C30 Electric can do.
The test started by placing the car in a cold climate chamber, which kept the car at a steady -13 degrees Fahrenheit.
Not only did the cars start, but they were also able to warm up very quickly because of its separately-fueled heating system. The C30 Electric has three heaters, an electric immersion heater, an electric PTC heater, and a fuel operated heater that runs on ethanol.
The testers on hand were very impressed, not only with the way the car drove in icy conditions, but also how quickly the heaters warmed up the car. You can watch the video after the jump:
However, now it hopes to add another daily appliance to its resume, by making an electric car. To do so, it has partnered with Volvo to make a fully-electric car based on their C30 platform.
Volvo, which has been quite keen over the last few years to produce an electric car will certainly gain a lot from Siemens technical know-how on this subject.
“We are very happy to have Siemens as a partner. Their world-leading knowledge and experience will bring the technology in our electric cars up to an entirely new level,” says Stefan Jacoby, President and CEO of Volvo Car Corporation.
Volvo has shown electric versions of the C30 in the past, but now with Siemens help it can get this project a lot closer to production. Volvo will deliver 200 vehicles to Siemens by the end of this year for testing.
Volvo hopes to start a small production run of the electric C30 this year, with a plug-in hybrid version of the V60 to be launched next year.
Volvo will show an all electric version of its entry-level C30 hatchback at the Frankfurt Auto Show this September. News of the expected unveiling comes from the U.S.’s AutoCar, saying that the model will be displayed and driven at the Innovation for Life event, which will take place shortly after the auto show.
Interestingly, Volvo has no plans to put the car into production, similar to how it (apparently) never had any plans to bring the C30-based Recharge Concept (shown above) to market. That model was a plug-in electric hybrid (PHEV), whereas this model will be a pure electric vehicle along the lines of the upcoming Nissan LEAF.
The car is part of a larger initiative by Volvo to explore the possibility of bringing pure electric vehicles to market. Currently Volvo has made clear that it will bring a plug-in diesel hybrid version of the V70 wagon to market by 2012.