Volvo Studies EV and Hybrid Battery Safety

Everybody knows that Volvo has a “safety-first” policy when it comes to its vehicles. Next year, the Swedish will introduce the world’s first urban pedestrian collision avoidance system in its new S60 sedan. After that, the next step is to go ahead on its rivals in another emerging field of safety: electric vehicles.

Apparently, Volvo is working at something described as “a comprehensive safety package of the very highest class” for a new generation of electric vehicles. And it is true that there are a lot of threats that have not been taken into consideration.

We do remember that a while ago Volvo has been willing to share its ideas with rivals on other safety issues. We’re talking about things such as car-to-car crash avoidance communication technology, and, a long time ago, three-point seatbelts. But this time, Volvo plans to hide its EV safety advances until it is ready to roll out its own battery-powered cars, starting with a plug-in hybrid in 2012.

Volvo said that work on electrification is being approached “with a great deal of humility and open-mindedness” because of the infancy of the technology. It seems that most of the Volvo’s focus at this stage is at the component level to see how the battery is affected by harsh braking and collision. The average battery weighs 150kg – a load that changes vehicle behavior.

We like to make a safer product,” said Volvo Car Corporation government affairs director Anders Eugensson, in Australia to address the 2009 Australasia Road Safety Research, Policing and Education Conference in Sydney.
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