Volvo will show an electric version of its small C30 coupé at next month's Detroit Motor Show. The Swedish company unveiled its first drivable prototype electric C30 in September this year, but the latest car is a more highly developed product that is much closer to the likely final specification of a fleet of factory produced C30 test vehicles that will be used in trials from 2011.
According to Volvo this car uses only a quarter as much energy as one running on fossil fuels and has a top speed of 81mph. The electric C30 can accelerate from rest to 60mph in less than 11 seconds and has a claimed range of about 150km (or just under 100 miles). It can be charged in eight hours from a domestic socket, although the house shown in Volvo's publicity shot must surely be the only one in the world to have such a socket conveniently mounted on a front outside wall; most users of electric cars have to access an inside socket via the letterbox, the cat-flap or an upstairs window.