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Volvo Readying V60 Plug-in Diesel Hybrid

System creates virtual all-wheel-drive.

by on Feb.22, 2011

Volvo will unveil the world's first diesel-electric plug-in at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show.

Volvo will introduce what it bills as the world’s first diesel-electric plug-in hybrid at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show.

The system, which will be used to power the Swedish maker’s V60 wagon, will differ significantly from current hybrid powertrains, including traditional systems used in the Toyota Prius and more advanced plug-ins found in the 2011 Chevrolet Volt.  Volvo’s plug-in will create a virtual all-wheel-drive system, using the diesel to drive the front wheels and the electric motors to drive the rear.

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The V60 plug-in will be the first electric drive model from Volvo – though the maker is also working up a pure battery-electric vehicle based on the smaller C30 — and its lithium-ion battery pack is expected to yield about 32 miles when running solely in battery made.  The rear-mounted electric motor can produce a maximum 70 horsepower.

But when the battery runs down – or extra power is needed – the 215-horsepower diesel kicks in.  When they’re both operating together in Sport mode, the two power sources can produce 285 hp and a full 472 lb-ft of tire spinning torque, launching the V60 diesel plug-in from 0 to 60 in just 6.9 seconds.

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First Look: Volvo C30 Battery Car

Volvo testing compact battery-electric commuter car.

by on Jan.07, 2010

Volvo's battery-electric C30 will begin fleet testing this year, but no date has been set for retail sales.

At first glance, you might not pay much attention to the seemingly familiar Volvo C30 as it rolls by.  But the unexpected absence of sound should be a clue that something is not quite as familiar as it first might seem.

That’s because the Swedish import’s conventional gasoline engine has been replaced by a small electric drivetrain.  The C30 battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, is, for now, just one of a small fleet of prototypes, but if the until now secret development program pans out, it could bring Volvo’s entry into the small but fast-growing battery commuter car segment.

“The Volvo C30 is the first model we will try out with electric power,” explains Lennart Stegland, Director of Volvo Cars Special Vehicles.  “This car’s excellent properties in city traffic and its relatively low weight make it particularly suitable, since electric cars are primarily expected to be used in and around cities and for daily commuting,”

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While the automaker isn’t revealing all the details, yet, it appears the C30 BEV will use about 24 kWh of lithium-ion batteries, enough to give it a range of about 150 kilometers, or 94 miles, per charge.  The relatively light and compact C30 should be able to accelerate from 0 to 100 kmh (0 to 62.5 mph) in “less than 11 seconds,” according to a corporate news release.  Top speed is limited to 130 kmh (about 81 mph).

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