Starting this summer, European leasing customers will be able to drive and evaluate an upgraded demo fleet of 100 Volvo C30 fully electric cars.

The upgraded C30 has a new Siemens motor with a peak power output of 89 kilowatt (120 horsepower), allowing the C30 electric to accelerate from 0 to 70 kilometers per hour (43.5 mph) in 5.9 seconds.

“Adding the innovative fast charging solution will radically improve the time and mileage for the daily usage of the car. This will drastically improve the cost of ownership since the customer will now be able to drive many low cost kilometers per day. A quick 10-minute plug-in adds power for another 20 kilometres of driving,” said Lennart Stegland, vice president Electric Propulsion Systems, Volvo Car Group.

Siemens is the main supplier of electric propulsion power train components for Volvo’s forthcoming Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform, which the company said enables sophisticated electrification at all levels – from different kinds of hybrids to pure electric drive, without intruding on interior or load space.

The upgraded C30 has a new 22-kilowatt fast charger, which is, according to Volvo, the world’s first on-board charger that operates on a three-phase supply and is small enough to be fitted in an electric car.

Using a three-phase outlet, a charge takes 1.5 hours, allowing a total range of 164 kilometers (101 miles) according to NEDC certification driving cycle. An ordinary single-phase 230 V household outlet takes between 8 and10 hours, depending on the available current.

“We’re proud to have developed this unique solution. By offering more usable hours a day, we’ve taken an important step towards making electric cars more viable as a commercial proposition, in both the private and public sectors,” said Stegland.

Volvo said the upgraded Volvo C30 Electric fleet meets the same high quality and safety standards as all other Volvo cars, including a dynamic driving experience and a comfortable climate, no matter what the temperature. The fuel cost is significantly lower than that for conventional cars, saving up to 2/3 of the cost, depending on fuel prices.

“Volvo is, and has always been, a human centric carmaker. The same focus and dedication that’s delivered world-class safety solutions is now focused on producing dynamic, intuitive and flexible electrified cars,” adds Stegland.

The strategic partnership between Volvo Car Group and Siemens was formed in August 2011 with the intention to jointly spearhead the development of electrified cars.

“Our aim is to be first with the latest technology within electrification. The new C30 Electric fleet will give us continuous feedback on technology and functionality as we approach a future series production,” Stegland says.