The concept car, based on the Volvo C30, has a range of approximately 62 miles on battery power alone before the car’s four-cylinder 1.6 Flexifuel engine is needed to power the car and recharge the battery.
The main performances are an acceleration figure of 0-62mph in 9 seconds and a top speed of 100mph.
“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.
"Emissions may be even lower if most of the electricity comes from CO2-friendly sources such as biogas, hydropower and nuclear power.” said Magnus Jonsson, Senior Vice President Research & Development at Volvo Cars.
For a 150km (93 mile) drive starting with a full charge, the car will require less than 2.8 litres of fuel, giving the car an effective fuel economy of 1.9 l/100km (124mpg).
The only extra cost will be the electricity used during charging. The Volvo ReCharge Concept can be charged at any regular electric plug socket and a full recharge will take three hours. A quick one hour charge provides enough power to cover just over 30 miles.
During a journey the combustion engine starts up automatically when 70 percent of the battery power has been used up.
This allows the driver to start the engine earlier in order to maximise battery charge, for instance when out on a motorway in order to save battery capacity for driving through the next town.
The Volvo ReCharge Concept is based on a “series hybrid” scheme with no mechanical connection between the engine and the wheels.
- The battery pack integrated into the boot 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 Flexifuel engine drives a generator that powers the wheel motors when the battery is depleted.
The Volvo ReCharge Concept is defined as "a battery electric car with an Auxiliary Power Unit (APU)". The APU is designed to distribute electrical power to the individual motors at each wheel.
The APU is powerful enough to supply an entire house with electricity. For example it could, in principle, with minor modifications, give the car owner an electricity generator right at his front door in the event of a power failure.
The electrical components were developed together with British electromagnetic specialists PML Flightlink.
With an individual electric motor at each wheel, weight distribution as well as mechanical efficiency and traction are maximised and the friction in mechanical gears is eliminated. Since the car does not have the transmission found in ordinary cars, there is no need for a gear lever.
The energy that is generated during braking is transmitted to the battery pack. When the system is ultimately developed, traditional wheel brakes will be completely replaced by electrical brakes with minimal energy wasted through friction.
To ensure reliable operation of the drivetrain and braking system, driver inputs are fed into a quadruple-redundant electronic control system.