Electric Car Platform Architecture from Volvo and Siemens

Volvo C30 ElectricBy John Addison (9/1/11)

Volvo (VOLAF.PK) and Siemens (NYSE:SI) are in joint development of electric drive technology, power electronics and smart charging technology for electric cars including plug-in hybrids. This Scalable Platform Architecture will be used in current and future electric vehicles. These systems will be integrated into the Volvo C30 Electric and the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid Diesel Crossover SUV.

The first electric cars of this model fitted with Siemens electric motors will be on the test tracks as early as the end of this year. Beginning in late 2012, the Swedish carmaker will deliver a test series of up to 200 vehicles to Siemens, which will then be tested and validated under real-life conditions as part of a Siemens internal test fleet.

Siemens is a $100 billion global giant who sees electric cars as a major opportunity. Siemens has long provided electric motors and related drive system electronics for rail and heavy vehicles. I have ridden on a number of buses and rail systems that use their electric drive system (disclosure: author owns Siemens stock). You probably have as well.

The electricity for electric vehicles comes from power plants. Siemens is a major supplier to the electric utility industry providing everything from wind turbines, generators, transmission, distribution, to smart grid technology. Siemens also sells EV charging stations (EVSE) and energy efficiency products such as Osram LED lighting. In one of its own fleets, 100 Siemens employees are driving electric vehicles that are vehicle-to-grid (V2G) enabled to test using electric cars to deliver power to the grid during peak hours.
“We are very happy to have Siemens as a partner. Their world-leading knowledge and experience will bring the technology in our electric cars up to an entirely new level,” says Stefan Jacoby, CEO of Volvo Car Corporation. He continues: “We are moving ahead quickly in this area. Our aim is to be first with the latest technology within electrification. The partnership reinforces our aim to pursue the fast-growing market for electric cars.”

Siemens Global Ambitions for Electric Cars and Charging

“Cooperation with Volvo is an important milestone in the development of top-quality components and systems for electric cars subsequently intended for series production,” says Siegfried Russwurm, Siemens Board member and CEO of the Siemens Industry Sector. “It is our long-term goal to establish Siemens as a global system provider both inside and outside of electric vehicles. We see ourselves as a comprehensive electric mobility pioneer.”
Siemens electric motors developed for Volvo have a peak power output of 108 kilowatts with a maximum torque of 220 Newton meters. The inverter design will be jointly optimized to meet all safety requirements in an automotive application. In addition, Siemens will provide highly efficient and fast on-board and off-board charging systems.

Volvo starts small-scale production of the Volvo C30 Electric this year. The two-door hatchback weighs only 2,900 pounds, making it easy to have a 100-mile range with 22.7kW of useable battery storage (24kW pack) with EnerDel lithium cells. A Siemens 68kW rated electric motor with Siemens power electronics is being integrated into the C30.

In 2012 Volvo starts dealer sales of the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid Diesel. Both cars will be sold in Europe with no commitment for U.S. sales, much to the disappointment of U.S. Volvo loyalist and diesel hybrid car enthusiasts. Drivers are given push-button choice of driving mode. For drivers in cities with congestion pricing, electric model can be selected. For expressways and hills, power mode can be selected. For normal driving, hybrid mode.

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About Author: John Addison

Founder of the Clean Fleet Report, author of Save Gas, Save the Planet. John writes about electric cars, renewable energy, and sustainability.

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