Last week Volvo invited some press to it’s cold weather test facility 90 miles North of the Arctic Circle. Volvo used the event to prove to the press that it’s Volvo C30 electric vehicle could stay comfortably warm, and still get impressive range, when outside temperatures were as cold as -20 degrees Fahrenheit!
Almost every electric car currently on the market uses an electric immersion heater or an electric air heater to warm the cabin and it’s occupants. When the electric vehicle isn’t plugged in and charging, the heaters draw straight from the battery pack – and every watt they use takes away from the overall range of the electric vehicle.
Volvo has built a triple heating system to not just warm the cabin, but to also keep the battery pack and motor at a reasonable temperature. The Volvo C30 Electric uses 2 electric heaters and a third E85 bio-ethanol heater to keep itself warm. Combined, the Volvo C30 electric’s heating system is capable of providing 12 kilowatts of heat to the car, and allows the C30 electric to drive in temperatures as low as -22 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once the cabin temperature has reached a tolerable level, the electric heaters turn off and the bio-ethanol heater maintains the temperature for up to 24 hours. We wondered if this might cause the eco-friendly buyers of electric vehicles to look at other electric vehicles, but Volvo assures that the Volvo C30 electric can be heated solely with electric heat if the driver chooses.