Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid

At the beginning of 2011, Volvo Car Corporation unveiled the V60 Plug-in Hybrid - a virtually production-ready car with carbon dioxide emissions below 50 g/km. The Plug-in Hybrid, which will be launched on the market in 2012, is the result of close cooperation between Volvo Car Corporation and Swedish energy supplier Vattenfall.

"No industry or organisation can tackle the climate challenge all by itself. It is our mission to develop carbon dioxide-lean cars, but it is the society that is responsible for creating a sustainable future. This project shows how cooperation between experts in different areas brings us closer to the transition from individually carbon dioxide-lean products to a climate-smart lifestyle," says Stefan Jacoby, President and CEO of Volvo Car Corporation.

In January 2007, Volvo Car Corporation and Vattenfall AB launched an industrial partnership whose aim was to test and develop plug-in technology. This cross-border initiative resulted in the foundation of a jointly owned company - V2 Plug-in-Hybrid Vehicle Partnership HB.

Half the CO2 emissions, full driving pleasure. Development work has been jointly financed. Now the project is on the threshold of introducing the market's first diesel plug-in hybrid. It's an attractive car type that gives the user access to the very best properties of both an electric car and a diesel-powered vehicle: very low fuel consumption and CO2 levels, combined with long range and high performance.

"One important aspect of the project was to retain the Volvo V60's excellent driving pleasure, high safety standard and luxurious comfort. At the same time, average CO2 emissions and fuel consumption will be halved compared with what is available on the market today," says Stefan Jacoby. He adds: "We're taking a step forward towards our "DRIVe Towards Zero" vision, that is to say the hunt for zero emissions. In fact, when the V60 Plug-in Hybrid is run solely on electricity and recharged using renewable energy, we've already reached that goal."

When powered solely by electricity, the V60 Plug-in Hybrid has a range of up to 50 kilometres. The car's total operating range is up to 1200 km. Carbon dioxide emissions will be an average of 49 grams per kilometre (NEDC EU Combined certification driving cycle) and fuel consumption will be 1.9 litres per 100 km.

The cost of the battery pack means the plug-in hybrid will be more expensive to buy than a Volvo V60 with a conventional combustion engine. On the other hand, fuel costs will be one-third compared with a conventional combustion engine. The cost of running on electricity in Sweden has been calculated at about 25 kronor (EUR 3.0) per 100 km. The exact cost will vary from one market to another.

"The second-generation hybrid is the perfect choice for the uncompromising buyer who wants a superbly carbon dioxide-lean car packed with driving pleasure," says Stefan Jacoby, President and CEO of Volvo Cars.

The front wheels of the V60 Plug-in Hybrid will be driven by a five-cylinder 2.4-litre five-cylinder turbodiesel, which produces 215 horsepower and maximum torque of 440 Nm. The car features a six-speed automatic transmission.

The rear axle is powered by an electric motor producing 70 horsepower. The electric motor receives its power from a 12 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, located under the load floor.

The sophisticated and exceptionally compact battery pack consists of 10 modules with 20 cells in each module. It has an integrated computer that monitors and compares the temperature and charge level in each of the 200 cells. The battery pack also has an integrated water-cooling system, which is a connected to the car's climate control unit.

The Pure, Hybrid and Power driving modes give the V60 Plug-in Hybrid three different temperaments.

In Pure the car runs only on its electric motor as much as possible. If the battery has been recharged using electricity from a renewable source, the driving range is up to 50 km with zero emissions of carbon dioxide. Battery range varies with terrain, climate and driving style.

Hybrid is the default mode whenever the car is started. The diesel engine and electric motor interact to provide the optimal balance between driving pleasure and low environmental impact. Emissions of CO2 (NEDC, Combined driving cycle for certification) are 49 g/km, corresponding to diesel fuel consumption of 1.9 l/100 km. The car's total range is up to 1200 km. The driver has the possibility to key in the planned route's distance (short, medium or long) in the car setup menu, The control system calculates the balance between diesel and electric power to obtain the lowest possible CO2 emissions for the given distance.

In Power the technology is optimised to give the car the best possible performance. The diesel engine and electric motor have a combined power output 215+70 horsepower and maximum torque of 440+200 Nm. The electric motor's lightning-quick torque delivery contributes to the car's 0 to 100 km/h acceleration time of 6.9 seconds.

The majority of all European car drivers cover less than 50 km a day, for instance to and from work. On longer trips, the diesel engine gives the car the same range as a conventional hybrid.

The V 60 Plug-in Hybrid can be charged via a regular household electricity socket at home or when parked somewhere else. Charging time is about five hours if the car is recharged at home.

Electricity production is undergoing rapid expansion. Wind-power is being commercially introduced on a large scale and is continuing to expand, biofuels will replace fossil fuels on a broad front, wave-power is expected to enter commercial operation within ten years, and new technology to clean CO2 emissions from coal-fired power stations is currently under development.

At Volvo Car Corporation, work on the V60 Plug-in Hybrid progresses in parallel with development of the Volvo C30 Electric, which runs entirely on electricity.

"These two car types complement one another. With a plug-in hybrid the driver is entirely independent of recharging stations when driving long distances. The future electric-car market will feature a mixture of both all-electric cars and plug-in hybrids," says Stefan Jacoby.

The third leg in Volvo Car Corporation's electrification strategy is empowering the upcoming engine generation with hybrid technology.

Source: Volvo press

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