Volvo’s cool glass-backed hatch joins the show’s electric charge
Trust Volvo to crash a C30 to demonstrate electric vehicles, batteries and all, can be five-star safety propositions
ELECTRIC cars with one surprising twist will open a new window on the future when the Australian International Motor Show begins in Melbourne on July 1.
At least four plug-in battery cars will be at the show, with Mitsubishi headlining its $49,000 iMiEV, Nissan going public in Australia with its Leaf and Renault racing to airfreight its new Fluence ZE from France for its first public appearance since its Down Under sales confirmation.
But it is Volvo that is adding the impact— literally— with its C30 Electric.
The car for the show is the survivor of the first public crash test involving a productionready battery-powered car.
It was hit with a 40 per cent offset-frontal impact at 64km/h, one of the toughest crashes anywhere in the world, to highlight the work done by Volvo to protect its safety-first reputation as the world moves towards electric cars.
Volvo says there was no deformation of the battery pack, no severing of crucial cables and computers and no leakage of battery fluids during or after the impact.
‘‘ Our tests show it is vital to separate the batteries from the electric car’s crumple zones to make it as safe as a conventional car,’’ says president of Volvo Cars Stefan Jacoby. The results of the crash test were no surprise at Volvo, which has already moved on from the singlefrontal test with development of its C30 Electric.
‘‘ The test produced exactly the results we expected,’’ says senior safety manager at Volvo in Sweden Jan Ivarsson.
‘‘ The C30 Electric offers the very same high safety level as a C30 with a combustion engine. The front deformed and distributed the crash energy as we expected.
‘‘ Both the batteries and the cables that are part of the electric system remained entirely intact after the collision.’’
The crash-survivor C30 Electric stars for Volvo at the show but the company also has its V60 plug-in hybrid for display and is previewing a new go-faster car— a limited edition S60 T6 R Design, which is due in showrooms from August.
Volvo Australia is finalising details of the performance S60, including the price, but promises a car tweaked by its Polestar motorsport partner to produce 242kW and 470Nm, enough to slash the sedan’s sprint from rest to 100km/h to about 5.8 seconds.
It has unique wheels, new trim and a high-performance Heico exhaust.
Not your average service station: The electric Volvo C30 ‘‘fills up’’