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First rechargeable diesel hybrid car production stepped up

With the launch of the first plug-in diesel hybrid car soon to arrive in the UK, its maker, Volvo reveals plans to ramp up production after the first 1,000 models were quickly snapped up.

The new Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid isn’t only the first rechargeable diesel hybrid, Volvo also claim that it is the first premium plug-in model, and as such have plans to step production up from the initial 1,000 models to 4,000 to 6,000 cars for the model year 2014, meaning availability will likely remain tight.

V60 plug in hybrid

First deliveries of the model are now expected to begin in early 2013, with just around 150 models of the first production run expected to make it to the UK. Around 5-15 per cent of the second production run is likely to head to the UK.

Uniquely, Volvo is producing its first hybrid model on the same production line as the non-hybrid V60, V70, XC70, S80 and XC90 models at its Torslanda plant in Gothenburg.

"We are first in the industry to integrate a plug-in hybrid in an established production flow together with other car models," says Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research and Development at Volvo Car Corporation. "The integration in the standard production flow gives the plug-in hybrid buyer the possibility to choose in principle all options available for the standard V60."

Buy one car, get two free

The car, promoted as being ‘three cars in one’, can drive in  one of three modes- fully electric, hybrid or four wheel drive-labelled as the Pure, Hybrid and Power driving functions. Using a five-cylinder 2.4-litre turbo diesel producing 215 hp, the V60 Plug-in also features a 70 horsepower electric motor and a 11.2kWh lithium ion battery pack, installed under the floor.

It has a range of up to 32 miles per charge in electric-only mode and is likely to achieve a mpg rating of around 134mpg and an emissions rating of around 45g/km CO2. In the UK, prices start from £45,000 after a £5,000 government grant has been deducted.

The car can be recharged for additional EV driving range, from a regular power outlet (230V/6A, 10A or 16A). A full charge with 10A takes 4.5 hours. This is cut to 3.5 hours with 16A charge.

The Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid was developed in collaboration with Swedish energy firm, Vattenfall and was financed jointly.

"The V60 Plug-in Hybrid is a unique car, a historic step, not only for Volvo Car Corporation but for the entire car industry. The first year's 1,000-car batch has sold out even before the car has reached the showrooms and the order books for next year's cars are already filling up," concludes Peter Mertens.

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Faye Sunderland

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