Göteborg, Sweden – Volvo has announced that it will put plug-in hybrids on the market by as early as 2012, beginning in Europe. Pure electric power from the battery will cover the daily transport needs of 75 per cent of European drivers, with an efficient diesel hybrid engine automatically taking over when necessary.

The plug-in hybrid (PHEV) would have a combined range of about 1,200 kilometres, with average CO2 emissions of 49 grams/km, and fuel consumption of 1.9 L/100 km.

“The new Volvo plug-in will be a truly enjoyable car to drive, featuring Volvo’s high safety and comfort standards,” said Stephen Odell, president and CEO of Volvo. “At the same time, CO2 levels and fuel consumption will be as low as half that available on the market today.”

Volvo’s PHEVs will use a lithium-ion battery, which will recharge from a regular wall socket in about five hours, and which will provide up to 50 km of pure electric propulsion. Dealers will offer customers who buy a PHEV a special contract for a supply of renewable energy, under an agreement created in cooperation with company partner Vattenfall, a Swedish electricity supplier.

“We are focusing strongly on plug-in hybrids in order to meet the demands for low CO2 emissions and to provide sustainable road transportation,” Odell said. “We naturally expect that the relevant authorities will offer subsidies to boost developments, speeding up the creation of a market for this type of car.”

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