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Volvo launch world's first diesel plug-in hybrid

At the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, Volvo Cars will be unveiling the world's first diesel plug-in hybrid - a virtually production-ready Volvo V60 with carbon dioxide emissions below 50 g/km. The Plug-in Hybrid, which will be launched in the market in 2012, is the result of close co-operation between Volvo Cars and Swedish energy supplier Vattenfall.

The concept of a plug-in diesel hybrid gives the driver the very best of what an electric and diesel car can offer: very low fuel consumption and CO2 levels, combined with long range and high performance.

By simply pressing a button, the car gives the driver the option of how they want to drive:

  • An electric car with a range of up to 32 miles.
  • A high-efficiency hybrid with carbon dioxide emissions averaging just 49 g/km.
  • A dynamic and engaging car with a combined output of 215 + 70 horsepower, 440 + 200 Nm of torque and acceleration from 0 to 62 mph of just 6.9 seconds.

The front wheels of the V60 Plug-in Hybrid will be driven by a five-cylinder 2.4-litre D5 turbo diesel, which produces 215 horsepower and maximum torque of 440 Nm.

The rear axle features ERAD (Electric Rear Axle Drive) in the form of an electric motor producing 70 horsepower, which receives its power from a 12 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The car features a six-speed automatic transmission.

The driver chooses the preferred driving mode via three buttons on the instrument panel: Pure, Hybrid and Power. The interaction between diesel and electric power is handled via a control system.

"The second-generation hybrid is the perfect choice for the uncompromising buyer who wants a superbly carbon dioxide-lean car packed with driving pleasure. To get drivers to think green, we have offered both, in one traditional genuine sports wagon" says Stefan Jacoby, president and ceo of Volvo Cars. He adds: "The technology is still undergoing development and testing, however, the car already points very clearly to what our customers can expect when the plug-in hybrid enters showrooms next year. What we've done is to spice it up with spearhead technology that allows the driver to choose: zero emissions, high-efficiency hybrid or full-on performance. Just select the mode that suits best."
 

The Pure, Hybrid and Power driving modes give the V60 Plug-in Hybrid three different temperaments:

  • In Pure the car runs only on its electric motor as much as possible. If the battery has been recharged using electricity from a renewable source supplied by Vettenfall, the driving range is up to 32 miles with zero emissions of carbon dioxide. Battery range varies with terrain, climate and driving style.
  • Hybrid is the default mode whenever the car is started. The diesel engine and electric motor interact to provide the optimal balance between driving pleasure and low environmental impact. Emissions of CO2 are 49 g/km (EU Combined), corresponding to diesel fuel consumption of 150 mpg. The car's total range is up to 746 miles.
  • In Power mode the technology is optimised to give the car the best possible performance. The diesel engine and electric motor have a combined power output of 215 + 70 horsepower and maximum torque of 440 + 200 Nm. The electric motor's lightning-quick torque delivery contributes to the car's 0 to 62 mph acceleration time of 6.9 seconds.
  • The majority of all European car drivers cover less than 32 miles a day, for instance to and from work. On longer trips, the diesel engine is activated automatically, giving the car the same properties and range as a conventional hybrid.

The cost of the battery pack means the plug-in hybrid will be more expensive to buy than a Volvo V60 with a conventional combustion engine. Pricing will be announced nearer the 2012 launch date. Fuel costs are expected to be one-third of a conventional combustion engined V60.


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