Volvo Car Corporation starts selling the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid in 2012
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.
"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."
Cheaper fuel costs
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 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.
Electric power offers a range of benefits
Electrification of the transport sector is an important step in the fight against climate change. Electricity is a highly beneficial fuel:
- An electric motor is almost four times as efficient as a regular combustion engine. This means that an electrically powered car consumes less energy and thus produces lower emissions, even if it is powered by a blend of electricity sources that include fossil fuels.
- European electricity production has an emission ceiling. This means that even if all vehicles were to run on electricity, electricity production itself is not allowed to produce more carbon dioxide. This emission ceiling will be gradually lowered over a period of time.
- Electricity is an excellent source of energy. It does not risk running out, and it can be produced virtually without any CO2 emissions. For instance, Vattenfall is working towards halving the company's emissions by 2030 and becoming climate-neutral by 2050.
- Emissions from millions of exhaust tailpipes are transferred to a small number of production facilities, which are easier to control and which will operate on the basis of the EU's trade in emission rights, something that does not apply to the transport sector at present.
- Electric vehicles use relatively little electricity and the increase in consumption will be more than covered by ambitious expansion plans for renewable energy sources throughout Europe. A single wind-power station, for instance, produces sufficient renewable energy to power 3,000 electric cars. Vattenfall will offer buyers of the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid a contract including electricity from renewable sources.
Rapid expansion of renewable electricity production
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.
Volvo Car Corporation boosts the iconic XC90 with refined exterior and interior
The Volvo Car Corporation is rejuvenating the successful Volvo XC90.
The refinements to the iconic SUV include more sophisticated lines and materials and an even more rewarding driving experience.
The XC90 owner can stay in touch with the parked vehicle via a new mobile application for an iPhone or Android smart phone.
"The XC90 still boasts all the virtues that have made it one of our most successful models ever. The spacious and flexible crossover combines excellent handling and comfort with superior get-you-there ability and flexibility. Now we have upgraded the XC90 with a number of features that emphasise the large SUV's unique blend of sophisticated elegance and capable ruggedness," says Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research and Development at the Volvo Car Corporation.
The XC90 is designed to give an elegant, muscular and robust impression. This has been reinforced through a number of refined details.
New Day Running Lights give the front more character. The redesigned silver metallic bumper bar as well as silver roof rails are standard on all variants. There is a new lower door moulding and all XC90 versions are fully colour-coordinated
The new tail lamps have dual light guides, LED brake lights and a silver turn indicator bulb (still with orange light). The news features also include six-spoke 18-inch wheels in silver matt finish.
More luxurious interior
A number of refinements have been made to give the XC90 interior an even more luxurious aura, including the three-spoke steering wheel, aluminium décor as standard and the watch dial-inspired instrument design with white lighting.
The tailgate is divided into an upper and a lower section. It now comes with a new, colour-coordinated leather grab handle. The load cover has also been redesigned.
The seating position gives the driver an in-command feeling. Seven seats are standard on most markets. All the passenger seats can be folded to create a fully flat loading floor.
Exclusive Executive version and sporty R-Design
The XC90 is also available in an even more exclusive Executive version with a number of features that further elevate its level of cosseting luxury, such as soft leather seats with ventilation and massage as well as a number of details with a more exclusive finish.
The R-Design version boosts the XC90's sporty aura and gives the car a more driver-focused character. On top of the special chassis, the new R-design version also features redesigned upholstery, inlays, door panels and new 19-inch wheels.
Six-cylinder petrol engine and two turbo diesels
The in-line, six-cylinder 3.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine offers 243 hp and maximum torque is 320 Nm. Fuel consumption (EU Combined) is 11.4 l/100 km (265 g CO2 per kilometre).
The Volvo XC90 can also be specified with a choice of two turbo diesels:
- The high-performance D5 with 200 horsepower and 420 Nmof torque.
- The Front Wheel Drive (FWD) 2.4-litre, five-cylinder D3 with 163 hp and 340 Nm of torque.
Fuel consumption (EU Combined) is 8.3 l/100 km with the D5 and 8.2 l/100 km with the D3. The corresponding CO2 figures are 219 g/km and 216 g/km respectively.
Bluetooth music streaming and new mobile application
The Volvo On Call system can now be combined with Bluetooth mobile phone connection. The system has been upgraded with music streaming from a preferred Bluetooth enabled portable music player. Volvo is the only car brand to offer Bluetooth music streaming throughout the entire vehicle range.
New too is a mobile application that makes sure that the driver can stay in touch with the parked car via an iPhone or Android smart phone. The mobile application is an extension of Volvo On Call.
Wide range of features
Owners of all new Volvos from Model Year 2012 with Volvo On Call can download the mobile application that opens up a range of possibilities, such as:
- Car locator. The location of the car is shown on a map. There is also a digital compass that points the driver in the right direction.
- Remote heater start. If the car is equipped with a parking heater, it can be started or timer programmed via the mobile app.
- Vehicle dashboard. This feature gives the driver access to a wide range of information: fuel level, remaining range to empty tank, average fuel consumption, average speed, odometer reading and trip meter reading.
- Car check. The mobile app performs a "health" check of the car, displaying information about bulbs, brake fluid level, coolant level, engine oil level and engine oil pressure.
"Creating an intuitive and ergonomically optimised relationship with the car is part of our aim to offer a feeling of relaxed control. The mobile application is much more than a gadget. It is the first step in our connectivity strategy. We have started to build a bridge to the future - and the mobile app will be extended with a range of possibilities," says Peter Mertens.
Volvo Car Corporation first with next-generation hybrids - the V60 Plug-in Hybrid is three cars in one
How about integrating the very best properties from three different car types into one, single attractive sports wagon? By simply pressing a button you can choose which car you want to drive:
- An electric car with a range of up to 50 kilometres.
- A high-efficiency hybrid with carbon dioxide emissions averaging just 49 g/km.
- A muscular fun-to-drive car with a combined output of 215+70 horsepower, 440+200 Nm of torque and acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h of just 6.9 seconds.
Allow us to present the world's first diesel plug-in hybrid. Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid will reach the showrooms 2012.
"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.
Three driving modes - three cars in one
The driver chooses the preferred driving mode via three buttons on the instrument panel: Pure, Hybrid or Power. The interaction between diesel and electric power is handled via a control system.
"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. 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 that allows the driver to choose: zero emissions, high-efficiency hybrid or full-on performance. Just select the mode that suits best," says Stefan Jacoby.
The different temperaments
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.
Better traction with All Wheel Drive
Pushing the AWD (All Wheel Drive) button in the centre stack activates electric four-wheel drive. Instead of the mechanical power transmission of the conventional AWD system, it is the central control unit that manages torque distribution to the diesel-driven front wheels and the electrically powered rear axle. The electric AWD is designed to offer the driver better traction when starting and driving on slippery road surfaces such as snow or mud.
However, due to the electric motor's lower output, the torque level available for the rear wheels is limited and the AWD system is active in speeds up to 100 km/h.
When AWD is activated the diesel engine is running continuously and the High Voltage Generator maintains a sufficient charge level on the battery pack that feeds the motor on the rear axle with power.
Since the electrical All Wheel Drive is active on driver demand only it is more fuel efficient than a conventional, permanent AWD system
Save battery power for later
The V60 Plug-in Hybrid offers the driver the option to save battery capacity in order to have enough charge for driving on clean electricity later, for instance in an urban low emission zone.
When Save For Later is activated, the car makes sure that the battery has a sufficient charge level for another pure drive. If necessary, the High Voltage Generator recharges the battery in order to maintain a sufficient charge level for another "Pure" drive.
The aim is that the Save For Later mode should secure enough battery capacity for approximately 20 kilometre drive on pure electricity.
Two-step braking system
The two-step braking system is another intelligent feature in the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid. When the driver pushes the brake pedal, the system initially brakes the car by controlling the rear axle motor. This braking energy is used to regenerate the car's battery pack.
The mechanical brakes are only activated when the situation requires more braking power than the rear axle can handle.
Recharging at home
The Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid is recharged via a regular power socket (230V/6A, 10A or 16A) at home or in a parking lot. The charging time depends on the level of the current. A full 10A charge takes 4.5 hours. The time is shortened to 3,5 hours with 16A, while a charge in a 6A socket takes 7.5 hours.
To get a comfortable start of the journey, the car driver has the possibility to preheat or cool the passenger compartment during the recharging process. This also means that more battery capacity can be used for powering the car.
The pre-conditioning also includes the possibility to cool the batteries. The battery pack has an ideal working temperature of 20-30°C. This means that the pre-cooling is highly important for maximising the charging capacity and thereby the driving range on each charge. The timing is programmed via the car's setup menu or remotely via a smart phone application.
The V60 Plug-in Hybrid has two heating possibilities. When running on electricity a PTC (Positive Temperature Coefficient) air heater is used. The car also has a Fuel Operated Diesel heater.
Smart mobile applications
On the outside the car has several additional features that emphasise its CO2-lean profile, such as lightweight wheels with exceptionally low air drag and tyres designed for low rolling resistance.
The instrument panel in the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid has been modified to give the driver a full range of important information about diesel and electricity consumption, battery charge level, remaining range and so on.
It will also be possible to communicate with the car via a mobile application. This gives the owner access to a number of smart features, such as climate conditioning, both pre cooling and pre heating, a reminder to plug in the charging cable if this hasn't been done at a certain and pre-set time for charging.
New, groundbreaking green-tech
"Volvo Cars has introduced groundbreaking green-tech before. For instance, we invented the catalytic converter with Lambda probe, a system that is now fitted to all cars. With our latest development we are once again demonstrating our leadership in the environmental field by being first to market hybrid technology in an entirely new dimension," says Stefan Jacoby, and adds:
"Having Vattenfall in the electricity generating industry as a partner gives us an added strength. It allows us to be on the inside and shape developments in this area, for instance when it comes to clean electricity and infrastructure. We will also offer our customers a climate-neutral electricity supply contract when our plug-in hybrid enters series production."
All figures are still preliminary.