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Future models - Volvo - V60 - Plug-in hybrid

Geneva show: Volvo to plug-in diesel wagon

Front runner: Volvo’s says its V60 Plug-in Hybrid will be the first of its kind in production.

Super-frugal diesel-electric Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid to hit the streets in 2012

28 Jan 2011

VOLVO will put a diesel-electric plug-in hybrid version of its V60 mid-sized wagon into production in 2012 – and it is on the wish list for Australia.

The V60 Plug-in Hybrid’s front wheels are driven by a 2.4-litre D5 turbo-diesel producing 150kW and 440Nm, while the rear wheels are powered by an electric motor.

Claimed to be a world first, the Volvo system – called Electric Axle Rear Drive (ERAD) – uses a 50kW electric motor powered by a 12kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

This version of the family wagon has a claimed average fuel consumption of only 1.9L/100km, and emits less than 50g/km of CO2. It can be driven for up to 50 km on pure electricity.

Volvo will be the first manufacturer to release what it calls this “new breed of hybrid”, developed in partnership with Swedish energy company Vattenfall.

Volvo Cars CEO Stefan Jacoby said he believed the V60 plug-in hybrid’s performance would attract car enthusiasts.

18 center imageLeft: Volvo C30 DRIVe Electric car

"In order to get true car enthusiasts to think green, you have to offer them the opportunity to drive with low-carbon-dioxide emissions without taking away the adrenaline rush that promotes genuine driving pleasure,” he said.

“The V60 Plug-in Hybrid has all the traditional properties of a genuine sports wagon. What we've done is to spice it up with spearhead technology.” More details will be forthcoming when a “virtually production-ready” car will be unveiled at the 2011 Geneva motor show on March 1.

Volvo Cars Australia public affairs manager Laurissa Mirabelli told GoAuto that the car was on its wish list, and that plug-in hybrid technology was a viable step forward for the company in Australia.

“The infrastructure and incentives to support fully-electric vehicles in Australia are almost non-existent, and therefore plug-in hybrids are probably a more realistic step forward,” she said.

Volvo’s first all-electric car, the C30 DRIVe Electric, is not available in Australia, leaving the super-frugal 1.6-litre diesel-powered DRIVe model to fly the brand’s fuel-efficiency flag here for now.

Meanwhile, the standard V60 range is set for release in Australia in March, coming in T5 and T6 petrol and D5 diesel configurations.

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