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 front wheels of the Volvo 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 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. On the other hand, fuel costs are expected to be one-third of a conventional combustion engined Volvo V60.
The plug-in hybrid can be charged via a regular household electricity socket at home or elsewhere. Charging time is about five hours if the car is recharged at home.
The Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid is recharged via a regular power socket (230V/6A, 10A or 16A). The charging time depends on the level of the current. A full 10A charge takes 4.5 hours. The time is shortened to 3 hours with 16A, while a charge in a 6A socket takes 7.5 hours.
The driver has the possibility to preheat or cool the passenger compartment during the recharging process. This means that more battery capacity can be used for powering the car. This pre-conditioning is programmed via a timer in the car's setup menu or remotely via a mobile phone. Via the mobile app, it also gives the owner access to a number of smart features, such as a reminder to plug in the charging cable if this hasn't been done at a certain pre-set time.
The instrument panel in the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid has been modified to give the driver a full range of important information about diesel and electricity consumption, battery charge level and remaining range.Published 21 February 2011