Volvo Cars’ environmental vision: “DRIVe Towards Zero”

Source: Volvo Cars of North America

“DRIVe Towards Zero” is Volvo Cars’ vision for developing cars entirely free from harmful exhaust emissions and environment-impacting carbon dioxide.

Volvo finally is going electric but calls it an, “ambitious electrification strategy includes a C30 Electric and a market introduction of plug-in hybrids as early as 2012.”

At a time when pressure on the automobile industry is perhaps greater than ever before, there is a sparkling combination of creativity and ambition that is helping the drive towards increasingly efficient cars and the essential phasing-out of fossil fuels. Not least at Volvo. The company continues to prioritise its focus on advanced green technology.

“We already have a wide range of models with extremely competitive CO2 emissions. Electrification is an important part of the paradigm shift to significantly reduce CO2 emissions,” says Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President, Research & Development at Volvo Car Corporation. He adds:

“We believe that 95 g COper kilometre is a suitable target for 2020 in the EU. However, this target is dependent on the outcome of the new European driving cycle discussions. How electricity and increased low-blending of biofuels will be valued in this cycle are a couple of crucial issues. “

Volvo’s environmental dedication dates back to the 1970s and encompasses the car’s entire lifecycle, from design, construction and production to use, servicing and recycling.  The main focus is on efficient energy and resource utilisation, reduced emissions and non-allergenic car interiors.

2008 saw the introduction of the DRIVe badge, a collective symbol for Volvo Cars’ dedication to greener motoring. The new symbol reflects the company’s commitment to sustainable mobility and zero emissions, at the same time as it includes a promise of constant improvement.

“Here at Volvo, we do not feel that there is any single obvious route to sustainable mobility. For one thing, local preconditions vary considerably when it comes to biofuels and the necessary infrastructure. And for another, we are seeing a steady stream of exciting new technological advances in such fields as electrification, which change these preconditions,” says Peter Mertens.

“We therefore maintain an open and proactive approach to various development tracks and technologies – so that we can quickly and cost-effectively commercialise products with the minimum possible climate impact,” clarifies Peter Mertens.

Hybrids and electric cars

In 2012, customers will be able to buy Volvo plug-in electrical hybrids, that is to say cars that can be recharged via a regular household electric socket. These cars have both a conventional combustion engine and an electric motor powered by a battery pack. They are propelled primarily by energy from the battery, with the combustion engine taking over when the distance travelled exceeds the capacity of the battery.

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