While major US automakers are focusing on fuel cell and hybrid vehicles, Volvo took a different route and introduced a sports car that runs entirely on lithium-ion batteries. Volvo’s 3CC concept car won “Best Design” and five Gold Standards at the recent Michelin Challenge Bibendum environmental competition in Shanghai, China.
“The 3CC not only combines classic Volvo styling with exotic gull-wing doors and a 2+1 tapered seating configuration, it also does so with a highly advanced lithium-ion battery electric drivetrain. That’s right. a step apart from the crowd, which these days focuses heavily on hybrid and fuel cell concepts,” says Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal.
“Just as the previous ECC introduced new ideas in hybrid propulsion with its high-speed turbine-generator design,” adds Cogan, “today’s lithium-ion 3CC innovates with its thousands of small laptop-style batteries, which power this zero-emission vehicle to impressive levels of efficiency and performance.”
Advanced sustainable mobility research and Volvo engineers have focused particularly on the conditions governing safety in small cars and their ability to handle incoming forces in a frontal collision.
The unique aerodynamic styling of Volvo’s 3CC concept car leaves room for a third seat in the rear. The unique ducktail design creates space for a third seat in the rear, while the batteries are sandwiched in the floor panels.
The 3CC concept car features an 80-kilowatt engine that generates up to 107 horsepower, has a potential driving range of 300 km (approximately 180 miles), and the 3CC has a top speed of more than 135 km per hour.
The carbon fiber body is mounted on a steel space frame and composite floor panels, giving the lightweight vehicle the ability to reach 60 miles per hour in less than 10 seconds. Volvo says the 3CC can travel 180 miles on a single charge under ideal driving conditions.
Safety features in the Volvo 3 CC include the Volvo Safety Ride Down Concept, a unique solution with a seat system that moves forward, a bit like a sled, while simultaneously deforming the front end. This movement is slowed down with the help of adaptive dampers that adapt the damping effect to suit the force of the collision and the number and weight of the occupants. The interior can be moved between 0 and 200mm forward, which has the same general effect as extending the crumple zone by the corresponding length. It has seats that slide forward at the time of crumple, intended to make up for the traditional small car’s lack of space in the crumple zone.
Virtual testing demonstrated that the most important part of a descent system is the energy absorber and that it must be adapted to be a viable concept, responding to differences in occupant load and crash severity.”
An environmentally efficient car that also has to be comfortable, pleasant to drive, attractive to look at and safe to drive is a completely new approach. The result is the Volvo 3CC, a sporty and attractive car that is extremely aerodynamic and compact, equipped with a fuel-efficient electric motor.
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