When developing a new car, car makers usually use available data from previous models so it saves them a large amount of time and money. But now that each model is getting an electric variant, those data are kinda obsolete and they have to redo all tests!
That is the case with the new Volvo C30 Electric. They recently finished its winter cold weather testings to see if the batteries and other new electric bits and pieces that an EV featires are compatible with extreme weather conditions. They’ve done more than 200 different tests and developed new methods exclusively for electric vehicles.
The goal was for the car to perform smoothly in temperatures as low as -20° Celsius.
They’ve also invented a new clever heating system for the C30 Electric. Climate control in the passenger compartment takes place via a bio-ethanol powered heater fitted in all cars. The car’s ethanol tank can carry 14.5 litres of bio-ethanol. This system can also use electricity from the batteries to work. This feature will become very handy in C30 dome country, Sweden. The car actually features different heating systems: One supplies the passengers with heating or cooling, One cools or warms the battery pack as necessary. The electric motor and power electronics are water-cooled.
“The driver can program and control the climate unit to suit the trip. Ethanol is the default mode that is used when the battery capacity is needed for driving, extending mobility to its maximum. However, on shorter distances electricity can be used to power the climate system,” explains Lennart Stegland.