Volvo Admits Its All-Electric Car Is Not Ready For Primetime
Volvo is the latest car manufacturer to go all electric, but it is not afraid to admit that its first all-electric cars are not yet meant for every driver. NY1's Technology reporter Adam Balkin filed the following report.
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You have to give Volvo some credit. As it joins the growing list of car companies like Chevy, Nissan and Ford in announcing a new plug-in electric vehicle, Volvo is not trying to coddle potential customers who suffer from "range anxiety" -- the worry about how far the car will go before the battery runs out of juice.
Volvo fully admits the upcoming C30 Electric car, which has no gas backup and takes about eight hours to fully charge, is not for everyone or every situation.
"It's a car you can use 300 out of 360 [sic] days per year. It will not solve your vacation trip, but will actually take care of the normal commuting you take care of every day," says Lennart Stegland of Volvo. "It will actually deliver the normal commuting distance for 90 percent of the people in the world."
Even through electric vehicles are starting to hit the streets, anyone who own an electric vehicle or is in the market for one still likely proudly wears the label "early adopter." They are still not mainstream enough for the average, everyday person to consider going electric.
Car industry analysts will often say this first round of electric vehicles is likely designed for manufacturers to see how well they do and where their shortcomings are, so they can be sure they getting right the models for mass production.
"The people who will pay a premium to be on the cutting edge of technology and be the first people in the neighborhood to have such a car, we're all thankful for those people because they're going to help the manufacturers develop a product that's really ready for the masses," says Jeff Bartlett of ConsumerReports.org. "And that's still a few years out but coming quickly."
As far as the Volvo C30 Electric goes, a test fleet of 250 cars will go on sale by the end of the year in Europe, mostly in Sweden. About another 100 are planned for the United States early next year.
Volvo has not announced pricing but says the first batch will only be available through leases.