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Optimized personal transportation: Volvo Car Corporation offers a solution to help solve threats to sustainable mobility

Related article: Volvo Car Corporation's 3CC

October 12, 2004: Spurred by the growing need to tackle congestion and pollution issues, Volvo Car Corporation has developed a radically new approach to sustainable mobility with a striking concept; a sport car with a `surprise in the back´.

Volvo Car Corporation has committed itself to pursuing a sustainable mobility future with the same focus on energy and innovation that has made it the safety benchmark for the automotive industry. A commitment reflected in the futuristic Volvo 3CC personal transportation vehicle unveiled at the Shanghai Michelin Challenge Bibendum event, October 12-14.

The Volvo 3CC is a sleek, aerodynamic car designed to carry up to three adults, or two adults and two children, utilizing a unique two-plus-one seating arrangement which provides comfort and space comparable to a larger car. The Volvo 3CC competing in Shanghai is driven by a powerful zero emission electric powertrain, capable of propelling the vehicle up to 300 km (180 miles). Its low center-of-gravity, lightweight and double wishbone suspension contribute to sport cars like handling.

“We see the Volvo 3CC as a functional demonstrator from which clean, safe and efficient vehicles can be derived in the future," says Volvo Car Corporation spokesman Dan Werbin, Director Volvo Monitoring & Concept Center (VMCC).

“It is clear that as densely populated nations like China become seriously mobile, we must address congestion and pollution if we want to offer future generations the mobility and freedom enjoyed today.”

The Volvo 3CC is a further step towards a new mobility paradigm envisaged by Volvo Car Corporation, and epitomized by the recently revealed Volvo Tandem - a narrow, energy efficient, 2-seater `personal mobility vehicle´ using 50 per cent less space than a current car without compromising Volvo’s traditional safety standards.

Both the Volvo 3CC and Tandem stem from the VMCC think-tank in California. VMCC believes the global market is changing from a ‘one car fits all’ notion to owning different cars for different needs.

“Moving to a ‘family’ matrix of cars could change the way the world thinks about auto ownership the same way the Sony Walkman did for the audio industry,” says Dan Werbin.

Volvo has built its new mobility ideas on unique consumer and societal research carried out by VMCC in the US, Europe and Asia aimed at profiling future customer demands, expectations and latent needs. The research indicates the world is becoming more open to new concepts on issues such as the environment, but solutions must be functional, ‘cool’, and smart.

The Volvo Car Corporation approach wins support from a four-year study on future mobility by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). The WBCSD says that to sustain the benefits of mobility, societies must seek new directions, including limiting greenhouse gas emissions, mitigating traffic congestion, ensuring best possible safety and preserving and improving existing mobility options.

Volvo Car Corporation believes it is moving in that direction with cars like the Volvo 3CC and Tandem. Cars not only fuel-efficient with lower emissions, but also using less space, offering cool looks, delivering top driving performance, and incorporating Volvo’s traditional safety and quality.

The Volvo 3CC was entered in the 6th Michelin Challenge Bibendum event because of its challenge to the auto industry to show how it is delivering technical advances to preserve the environment and sustain mobility. Bringing together automakers, policy makers, and the media to explore solutions to the threat posed by emissions and congestion, it is the only event of its kind comparing vehicles powered by conventional and alternative energy and propulsion systems.

“Volvo Car rank environmental care as much a core value as safety and quality,” says Niklas Gustavsson, Environmental Manager Volvo Car Corporation Governmental Affairs.

“Our key role is to help society and individuals to move freely without sacrificing human or ecological factors. The Volvo 3CC, and the thinking behind it, has the potential to become a catalyst for change in the way people view car use.”

Related article: Volvo Car Corporation's 3CC

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