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Volvo Launches World’s First Plug-in Diesel Hybrid

High mileage, hefty price premium.

by on Nov.21, 2012

Volvo's new V60 Plug-in will pair two extremely efficient - but costly - technologies.

Volvo Car Corp., the Chinese-owned maker of prestige Euro cars, is starting up limited production of what it describes as the world’s first diesel plug-in hybrid.

The new Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid can run for long periods on batteries or utilize the onboard diesel engine for power during extended driving.

The combined diesel and electric drive system produces about 285 horsepower and Volvo says it expects an average 124 miles per gallon equivalent fuel economy, a number calculated around using the battery propulsion for much of one’s daily driving.

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According to Volvo, the V60 Plug-in uses an 11.2 kWh lithium-ion battery that should yield 50 kilometers – or about 32 miles — per charge.  It does not appear there are near-term plans to bring the V60 Plug-in to the U.S., nor is it clear what the EPA range rating would be.  The government agency – which oversees fuel economy and related testing – typically comes up with a far less generous number than manufacturers quote for themselves.

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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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