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Volvo C30 Electric equipped with three climate systems; bioethanol heater

The Volvo C30 Electric is equipped with three climate systems: one supplies the passengers with heating or cooling; one cools or warms the battery pack as necessary; and the electric motor and power electronics are water-cooled.

The C30 Electric features a bio-ethanol powered heater for climate control in the passenger cabin—a solution that makes it possible to get comfortable heating in cold winter conditions without compromising the battery driving range. The car’s ethanol tank can carry 14.5 liters of bio-ethanol.

It is also possible to run the climate unit on electricity from the batteries. In electric mode an immersion heater warms up the coolant in the climate unit.

The driver can program and control the climate unit to suit the trip. Ethanol is the default mode that is used when the battery capacity is needed for driving extend mobility to its maximum. However, on shorter distances electricity can be used to power the climate system.

—Lennart Stegland, director of Volvo Cars' Special Vehicles

Volvo has been testing the C30 in winter conditions in temperatures as low as -20 °C (-4 °F).

In addition to the standard test regime for Volvo cars, the company has developed several new test methods for the electric vehicles. More than 200 different tests have been performed on the C30 Electric.



145 l of ethanol!!!! Is it too much. Why not have 45 l and small range extender?


Darius, are you joking or do you need to clean your glasses? ;-)


Heating with a heat pump would be much more efficient. It is running the air conditioner in reverse. Modern CO2 air conditioners can use air from -25 C.

The incoming air could be pre-heated by from the expelled air in a heat exchanger to reduce heating requirements even further.

Probably that's still a bridge too far for current day technology. It will improve though, a separate heater is just extra weight and cost and the principal part (heat pump) is already in the car.


"The C30 Electric features a bio-ethanol powered heater for climate control in the passenger cabin."

How does this differ from ethanol available to the auto market? Most ethanol used for automotive is "bio" ethanol isn't it.


Ethanol can be synthesized from coal or natural gas, but most comes from sugar cane, sugar beets or corn grain as far as I know.


Excellent idea Anne. Heat Pump technologies are ready for that type of application, are mass produced and not expensive. A 1.0 ton unit is down to about $1K and could be the ideal solution for all weather electrified vehicles.

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