By Jonas Lagneryd and Jack Rosebro
Miljörapporten of Stockholm is reporting that Saab and Volvo intend to collaborate on a pilot project around plug-in hybrid vehicles. The two car manufacturers will test ten Volvo PHEVs on Sweden’s public roads next year.
“We will test somewhat larger Volvo plug-in hybrids” than the Volvo C30 ReCharge PHEV concept that had been shown at Frankfurt earlier this year, said Klas Niste at Volvo Personvagnar. (Earlier post.)
Swedish energy company Vattenfall and battery manufacturer ETC Battery and Fuel Cells Sweden AB, of Nol, Sweden, are also partners in the new project. Volvo and Saab will build ten PHEVs, Vattenfall will develop and provide efficient battery chargers, and ETC Battery will contribute lithium-ion batteries.
ETC Battery is working with a LiFePO4 cathode material, with support from Energimyndigheten (the Swedish National Energy Agency) and input from Uppsala University, which is investigating and testing LiFePO4 cathode materials.
The project will continue between 2008-2010 and the ten plug-in hybrids are scheduled to be under test by 2009. Data collected during the demonstration project will be used to evaluate batteries, analyze driving patterns, and refine simulation software used for PHEV and HEV development.
Although Saab and Volvo have little to say about the project, a grant application to Energimyndigheten states the goal: “to demonstrate what a simple, marketable, full solution for plug-in hybrids would look like” and to create a Swedish market for plug-in hybrids. Asked which “larger Volvo models” are being developed with plug-in technology, Klas Niste said “This I cannot comment on.”
The cost of the project is 62 million Swedish crowns (US$9.6 million), and the partnership has applied for a government grant for half of that.