Not to be outdone by its competitors, Volvo has announced its own hybrid electric car due in… 2012. This would put it behind four other auto companies we’re tracking that have a release date of 2010, however in return for an extra couple of years of waiting, users will have the ability to drive a plug-in with a diesel engine.
The engine will release less than 50 grams/km. of carbon dioxide emissions (using the NEDC standard). According to Volvo, this would qualify it for a “super-credit tax incentive band” in several countries. There is no word yet whether the U.S. will adopt any super incentives. Another intriguing feature of this car will be the placement of two battery-charging ports on its exterior: one at the rear for use with public charging stations, and one at the front for use in homes and garages.
The design and introduction of the new model is being accomplished as a joint project between Volvo and Swedish energy supplier Vattenfall. Like the Toyota/EDF Energy relationship, Vattenfall will manage the operational aspects of the charging process, providing the infrastructure as well as supplying the needed electricity. They are also offering customers the opportunity to sign an agreement for renewable electricity sourced specifically from windpower or hydropower, as an alternative to the regular mix of electricity sources.
A demonstration fleet based on the Volvo V70 model will be arriving in the U.S. to promote the technology. Spokespeople from the company have declared that the base price would be slightly higher than conventional automobiles, but that the range would be “class-leading”.
Unsurprisingly, the battery pack will consist of lithium-ion cells. The supplier of those cells, at the moment, is unknown. There are also plans to produce a purely electric car in the future.