By SCOTT DOGGETT September 1, 2011
Swedish automaker Volvo Cars Corp., which is owned by China’s Geely Automobile Holdings, and Siemens AG, Europe’s largest engineering conglomerate, said they will jointly develop electric vehicles and EV charging technology. Siemens will supply the electric-drive technology for all of Volvo’s electric vehicles, starting with the Volvo C30 Electric three-door hatchback, the companies said in a statement. The first C30 Electrics fitted with Siemens’ motors are expected to be on test tracks as early as December. Beginning in late 2012, Volvo expects to deliver up to 200 C30 Electrics to Siemens for real-world testing. This news follows last week’s announcement between GM and the LG Group.
Siegfried Russwurm, chief executive of Siemens’ industry sector, said the company was in talks with several other carmakers to provide them with hardware for electric cars. He said he saw this as a “significant” future business, according to a report in Britain’s Financial Times In the statement, Russwurm said Siemens sees itself as a “comprehensive electric mobility pioneer,” excelling in electric-powertrain, battery-management and EV-charging technologies. Siemens electric motors currently developed for Volvo have a peak power output of 108 kilowatts (145 horsepower), substantially more than the 80-kilowatt (107 hp) motor found in the Nissan Leaf and slightly less than the 185-kilowatt (248 hp) motor reportedly destined for the upcoming Tesla Model S. The inverter design will be jointly optimized to meet all safety requirements in an automotive application, the companies said, adding that Siemens will provide fast on-board and off-board charging systems for the C30 Electric.
In addition to starting small-scale production of the C30 Electric this year, Volvo plans to start selling a V60 plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle. “This means that we are moving from prototypes and small volumes towards series production, starting with the plug-in hybrid,” Volvo President and CEO Stefan Jacoby said in a statement. “Our upcoming new Scalable Platform Architecture paves the way for electrification throughout our model range.” In April, Siemens joined the ranks of smaller outfits, such as Massachusetts-based WiTricity and U.K.-based HaloIPT, looking to benefit from the expected growth in electric-drive vehicles by developing electric-vehicle charging systems. Siemens presented its wireless EV-charging system at the Hannover Messe technology conference in Germany. It will start testing it on BMW’s ActivE electric vehicles this fall, according to Siemens spokesman Torsten Wolf.