Ulf Nordström, technical project manager at Volvo Cars, has been given the "Intrapreneur of the Year" award by recruitment agency Talentia. Ulf Nordström is the person behind the DRIVe models. "A real surprise! It's great for Volvo Cars - and for me of course," says a delighted Ulf Nordström.

The DRIVe project started with the C30, S40 and V50, which were presented in autumn 2008. It continued at the Geneva and Frankfurt motor shows this year, and the DRIVe range now covers seven models. In addition to the C30, S40 and V50 there are the S80, V70, XC70 and XC60.

DRIVe is one of the factors that put Volvo Cars back on the green map. A Volvo V70 that consumes less than 5 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres is big news. Consumers have taken note - and so have the media.

"The project that we started just two years ago now accounts for about 20 percent of our total sales. There have been fantastic reports in the media on our DRIVe models. And there's more on the way," says Ulf Nordström.

Like what, for instance?

"I'm not able to reveal any details right now. But I can say we're working flat-out. Next year we will probably unveil a revolutionary solution that will reduce fuel consumption still further."

With so many new ideas helping to bring about such considerable reductions in fuel consumption, Talentia kept a close watch on Volvo Cars and Ulf Nordström. Last Friday he received the award from the hands of former SAS president Jan Carlzon in the presence of about 500 people in Stockholm.

Praises the team

"It is naturally a great honour to have one's achievements recognized in this way. I must say, however, that it is not I who won the award but rather my entire team and Volvo Cars. We've worked together really hard to get here," says Ulf Nordström.

Here are some of the most notable details of the DRIVe models that help cut their fuel consumption (all are powered by diesel) and thus also their carbon dioxide emissions:

-Improved aerodynamics, including underbody panels, lowered chassis and redesigned rear spoiler

-Partially covered grille, new front spoiler and wind deflectors for the front wheels

-New low-friction tyres with aluminium wheels

-Nye management system for the engine (1.6D), new gearbox oil, new power steering system

-Intelligent battery recharging (the battery is charged only when the accelerator pedal is released)

-Start/stop function (the engine switches off when the gear lever is in neutral and the clutch pedal is released, for instance at traffic lights)

"Intrapreneur of the Year" is a new Swedish award. It is given to people who have "demonstrated an extraordinary ability to discover possibilities and realize ideas as well as organize and create resources to achieve outstanding results".

In addition to the award, Ulf Nordström will be offered three coaching sessions and will also receive a specially created inspiration grant. Six people were nominated to the final round. More information is available at Talentia's website.

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