The world’s first diesel plug-in hybrid car is about to roll out onto the market. The model – the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid – is the result of a joint venture between Volvo Cars and Vattenfall, and market indications suggests the first batch of 1,000 cars will have been sold even before production starts in the
autumn of 2012.
”The car will be delivered with an offering for charging solutions from Vattenfall, to make driving on electricity even more convenient,” says Susanna Hurtig, Vattenfall’s Project manager at Business Development, E-mobility. “Now we show that Vattenfall is a leading player in e-mobility.”
The V60 Plug-in Hybrid is said to take hybrid cars to the next level, as it can be driven in three different modes. In hybrid mode, the CO2 emission level is at 49 g/km – 65 percent lower than a conventional V60 with the same diesel engine. Driving in pure electrical mode the model manages 50 km on one charging and in power mode, it performs at 215+70 horsepower and 440+200 Nm of torque.
Vattenfall and Volvo Cars have shared the investments in the V60 Plug-in Hybrid fifty-fifty, and Hurtig explains that Vattenfall also contributes with competence and solutions for the interaction between the car, the home or work place and the electrical network, as well as with the company’s expertise in electricity safety, charging and EU standards.
“Vattenfall is offering a starter package in our core markets – Sweden, the Netherlands and Germany – including 100 percent renewable electricity and installation of charging stations in the home or at work,” Hurtig says.
“These charging stations are equipped with a so-called Mode 3 functionality, enabling the charging station to send signals to the car to control the charging current and thereby the charging speed. Also, there are several safety functions, such as the instant break in the outlet´s electrical current if the plug and the car are disconnected.”
The charging times will depend on the size of the battery and charging speed, but the 12 kWh battery in the V60 Plug-in Hybrid will take about three hours to charge, at16 Ampere.
“Your driving behaviour will of course affect the distance you’re able to cover on one charging. But imagine the comfort of being able to charge your car at home or at work, and not having to plan a trip to the gas station,” Hurtig says.
A study of daily driving shows that most European drivers cover less than 50 kilometres a day, for instance to and from work. On longer trips, the diesel engine in the V60 Plug-in Hybrid gives the car the same range as a conventional hybrid – but with far lower CO2 emissions. And hints from the markets seem to suggest that the time is right for this evolution.
After the initial batch of 1,000 cars for model year 2013, production of the V60 Plug-in Hybrid will increase to 5,000 cars as of model year 2014. About 30 percent of total volume will go to Sweden and the other Nordic countries. Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Britain will have a share of between five and 15 percent each.
“We expect the order books to fill very quickly,” says Stefan Jacoby, President and CEO of Volvo Cars. “The most discerning customers have many exclusive cars to choose between. But for anyone who truly wants to be in a league of their own behind the wheel of the most ingenious car in the world, there’s only our V60 Plug-in Hybrid.”
Press kit Volvo V60 Plug-in hybrid