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Volvo Developing Range Extender Technology for EVs

July 21, 2011

GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN – Volvo is developing electric vehicle range-extender technology and is testing it on a C30 Electric and a V60. The company's technological developments focus on three different technology combinations. All the combinations use three-cylinder gasoline engines mated to electric drive systems at the front wheels and use regenerative braking. The engines can run on gasoline and ethanol (E-85).

Volvo's first range extender technical concept is in a Volvo C30.

In the company’s first concept, a Volvo C30 with a series-connected range extender, the technology increases the EV’s range by 670 miles, in addition to that provided by the vehicle’s battery pack.

Volvo's second range extender technical concept is also in a Volvo C30 but has a parallel connection rather than a series connection.

The company’s second concept is a Volvo C30 with parallel-connected range extender. Here the car gets a more powerful three-cylinder combustion engine at the rear and a 10.5-gallon (40-liter) fuel tank. The difference between this and the first solution is the parallel connection, whereby the turbocharged 190 horsepower engine primarily drives the rear wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.

Volvo's third range extender concept is in a V60 and uses a parallel connection.

Volvo’s third concept is a V60 with a parallel-connected range extender. The drive package is installed under the hood. The 111 hp (80 kW) electric motor is supplemented by a three-cylinder gasoline engine. The three-cylinder engine can produce 190 hp. Power from the engine drives the front wheels via the gearbox and recharges the battery pack when necessary.

"These three projects allow us to evaluate the Range Extender's various possibilities,” said Derek Crabb, vice president powertrain engineering. “As with the C30 Electric and V60 Plug-in Hybrid, the goal is to make the cars exceptionally CO2-lean without compromising on customer requirements such as comfort, driving pleasure, and practicality."

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