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Volvo Line-Up Will Be Dominated by Battery Power

Maker adding two plants in China, but U.S. production still under study.

by on Mar.08, 2011

Volvo plans to offer the world's first diesel-electric plug-in hybrid in 2012.

Long identified with the latest in safety technology, Sweden’s Volvo is putting an increasing emphasis on battery power.  By the end of the decade, in fact, the majority of its products will be driven by hybrid-electric, plug-in or pure battery-electric powertrains, Volvo Chief Executive Stephan Jacoby reveals.

Until now lagging behind many of its competitors when it comes to the “electrification” of the automobile, Volvo is rapidly making up for lost time.  It is preparing to launch its first battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, a version of the compact C30.  And Volvo is using its stand at this month’s  Geneva Motor Show to give the public a look at the plug-in diesel-hybrid version of its bigger V60 wagon, which it plans to bring to market in 2012.

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“I would say the majority (if Volvo products) would use some form of electrification” by 2020, Jacoby, a former Volkswagen executive, revealed.  “I think the CO2 regulations will lead to that.”

Jacoby joined the Swedish maker last year after Volvo was acquired by the ambitious Chinese Geely Holding Co.  Last month, the parent firm revealed plans to invest as much as $11 billion into its new subsidiary, part of a global growth strategy that it expects to double Volvo sales. (more…)

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.