What happens when a 300kg electric car battery hits an offset wall while travelling at 65 kph? Not much, to be honest with you. Still, things crashing—in slow motion!
This isn't to say Volvo engineers didn't have to rethink the way they designed the C30 Electric. Without a conventional engine under the hood, and with 300kg of extra weight in the back and centre, they had to add some extra reinforcement to the front end crumple zones. Which they did, before sending the car careening into a wall. Reports CNET:
"The test produced exactly the results we expected," Jan Ivarsson, Volvo safety senior manager, said in a statement. "The C30 Electric offers the very same high safety level as a C30 with a combustion engine. The front deformed and distributed the crash energy as we expected. Both the batteries and the cables that are part of the electric system remained entirely intact after the collision."
The successful test doesn't mean Volvo is going to jump on the EV bandwagon just yet. While other manufacturers like Chevy and Nissan have their Volt and Leaf heading to consumer hands relatively soon, Volvo only plans a demo fleet of its C30 later this year. [CNET]