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Alcohol For Volvo's Electric C30

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Alcohol For Volvo's Electric C30
Alcohol For Volvo's Electric C30

Video: Alcohol For Volvo's Electric C30

Video: Alcohol For Volvo's Electric C30
Video: Volvo Electric C30 Show & Tell 2023, June

In Volvo's C30 electric car, alcohol fires an additional heater. This not only ensures cozy temperatures in the Swedish winter. It is also crucial for the range of e-mobiles.

Volvo heats its vehicles with alcohol. Thanks to a heater powered by bio-ethanol, the Swedish C30 Drive Electric car stays pleasantly warm even in winter. And that without affecting the range of the compact car, which is initially being delivered in small series.

Optimal operating temperature at 37 degrees

The reason for this is physical: According to engineers, the lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles feel most comfortable in a range of 25 to 45 degrees Celsius. As with humans, their optimal operating temperature is 37 degrees. If the temperature drops, this not only shortens the service life of the battery, but also its storage capacity "sags" due to the temperature. This reduces the range of the car.

Another problem: Since there is naturally no internal combustion engine in electric cars whose waste heat could be used to heat the interior, additional heating must be "external" in winter. If this were done electrically, the resulting additional power requirement would quickly reduce the distance that can be covered by a battery charge at sub-zero temperatures to half the value that would otherwise be achievable. In the worst case, after a few kilometers the vehicle will be left in the freezing cold in no man's land - a horror for every driver

Range hardly restricted

An eminently important problem that, despite all the euphoria about electric cars, has so far only been considered marginally. To solve the dilemma, Volvo intends to use ethanol to heat the cockpit of its electric vehicles in the future. Another system cools or warms the battery unit as required. The tank for the additional fuel holds 14.5 liters, which, according to the manufacturer, is enough for up to 30 hours of operation at full heating output.

In order to convince themselves of the practicality of the auxiliary heating, the Swedes tested it under extreme climatic conditions. They didn't have to travel far. "We tested the C30 intensively in northern Sweden in winter conditions down to minus 30 degrees and we felt cozy and warm with it," reports test engineer Andreas Olsson. The range, he concluded, has not decreased significantly. An experience that was confirmed first-hand during the first trips with pre-production vehicles of the electric C30 in snowy Gothenburg. Despite sub-zero temperatures, the range display of the charged e-car during the test drive showed a good 75 kilometers, hardly less than the 90 kilometers that are possible in everyday life according to the manufacturer in ideal weather conditions. (mid)

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