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Europe: Volvo explores range-extended electric models

Volvo has announced that it is to begin road trails of new range-extended models as part of the car maker extensive electrification programme.

The car maker already revealed a plug-in hybrid version of its V60 model at the Geneva motor show earlier this year and is currently trialling a fully electric version of its C30.

Now the Swedish firm is trailing a total of three different range-extended models which work in a similar way to GM’s Volt/Ampera models in combining an electric battery and a combustion engine. However as the car maker is still in early stages of development of range-extended models, it is taking the opportunity to explore different ways of using both electric and combustion power, producing three different concepts which use their power sources in different ways.

The trial projects, supported by the Swedish Energy Agency and the EU, include two versions of the C30; a series connected range extended model and a parallel connected model and a parallel connected V60 range extended car.

C30 range-extended models

Concept one, the series C30, features a three-cylinder combustion engine connected to a 40 kW generator and a 40 litre fuel tank. The power it generates is used primarily to drive the car’s 111 horsepower (82 kW) electric motor, but the driver can also choose to let the generator charge the battery, thus increasing the car’s operating range on electricity. The Range Extender increases the electric car’s range by up to 1000 km – on top of the 110 km range provided by the car’s battery pack.
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