Volvo's New Car Turns from Plug-In Electric, to Hybrid, to Diesel With a Button


Image credit: Volvo

How does a car maker settle the problem of deciding to make an all-electric car, a hybrid electric car, or a diesel engine car? They can only make one vehicle so which will it be? Volvo has decided... all three! Yep, the car maker has come up with a new model that can go from an all-electric car with a 30-mile range to hybrid to diesel with just the switch of a button. We heard last October that the company was planning a V60 diesel hybrid, but a vehicle that can be all three? Seemingly, the Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid can be everything for everyone.
Wired reports that the Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid can switch modes all during a single trip, moving from all-electric to hybrid to diesel, and sending power from front wheels to rear wheels to all four wheels. And it is done with just a simple set of buttons on the dashboard.

The key to the new V60 is a multi-modal switch on the dashboard. In "Pure" mode, it's a commuter car with a 70-horsepower electric motor driving the rear wheels. The 12 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack offers a 30 mile range and can recharge fully in under three hours at a 16 amp outlet. Switch the selector to "Hybrid" and banish range anxiety with an astounding 125 mpg equivalent rating and a 745 mile range -- enough to get from Luleå to Malmö on one tank of diesel. That kind of range is news in its own right. But carbon-consciousness aside, sometimes you just want to floor it. And buying a second car for country road romps is hardly environmentally friendly. Set the V60 to "Power" and you can do 0-62 in 6.9 seconds with the combined 285 horsepower of diesel and electric motors putting out 472 ft-lbs of torque. Not bad from a Volvo wagon.

This could be the perfect transition car for people who want to be a greener driver, but maybe not all the time.

It still provides all the traditional features expected from a Volvo Wagon, including
All of the usual features you'd expect in a car are there, including air-conditioning, safety systems and regenerative braking, seating for five adults and nearly 11 cubic feet of luggage space, according to All Cars Electric.

The site also notes that the car includes both pre-heating for the battery pack whilst charging and cabin pre-heating, and a climate control system that can heat the ERAD system to optimal temperature as well as pre-heat the 2.4 liter Diesel Engine. How do they know it holds up in the cold? They weather-tested it in the Arctic circle. Brrrrrrrrr.

Supposedly the car maker can have it in showrooms in Europe by 2012, but we aren't convinced we'll see these in the US any time soon.

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More on Volvo
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Volvo Makes A Car That Stops For Pedestrians (and Next, For Bikes)
Volvo to Make Plug-In Diesel Hybrid Based on V60 Wagon in 2012

Tags: Electric Vehicles | Electronics