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Volvo ReCharge Concept

Thu, 13 Sep 2007

By Ben Barry

Motor Shows

13 September 2007 12:38

A Volvo hybrid? Let me guess, it appeases the greens but fails to deliver in the real-world

The typical hybrid this is not. Instead of having an electric motor that only works at very low speeds before a regular engine cuts in, this C30 – dubbed ReCharge Concept – can be driven on electric-only power for 62 miles which is adequate for most commutes. Volvo claims a 66 percent reduction in C02 emissions compared with your common-or-garden hybrid, plus a 0-60mph dash in nine seconds and 100mph top speed. And as well as feeling good about enviro credentials, owners would save around 80 percent in running costs compared with a purely petrol equivalent if the ReCharge ever makes production.

The ReCharge Concept is a plug-in hybrid, the idea being you can charge it from any power socket (so having the car garaged would be a definite advantage if you’re too avoid tripping up pedestrians with lengthy extension cables), and four electric motors power each wheel. Key problems with previous plug-ins have been the lengthy charge periods required, but the ReCharge can be fully, erm, recharged in just three hours. Even a one-hour charge provides enough go for a 30-mile trip. Once 70 percent of the charge is used, the 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine jumps in to save the day. Alternatively the driver can bring in petrol power at any time thanks to a dash-mounted button, allowing you to choose when to drive on electric-only power for longer journeys.

By Ben Barry