Göteborg, Sweden – Volvo has announced it will launch a plug-in electric hybrid vehicle (PHEV) in Sweden in 2012, through its joint venture with Swedish energy company Vattenfall.
The two companies launched the joint venture in January 2007 with the aim of testing and developing plug-in technology, and are now ready to move to the next level.
“We are investing in an industrial joint venture to series-produce plug-in hybrid cars in Sweden in 2012, cars that can be powered by both electricity and diesel,” said Stephen Odell, president and CEO of Volvo. “This is an important business development for us, and our partnership with Vattenfall allows us to take a giant step toward offering our customers cars with an even smaller environmental footprint.”
The development of the cars is being carried out and financed jointly by the two companies. Volvo will manufacture the cars, while Vattenfall will develop charging systems and supply them with electricity. Vattenfall will offer customers the opportunity to sign an agreement for renewable electricity sourced specifically from wind or hydro power, as an alternative to the regular mix of electricity sources.
The company will present three Volvo V70 demonstration cars in the summer of 2009, which will be used to gather information about customer feedback. Vattenfall will test various concepts for high-speed home charging and also for public charging stations, where owners pay to fuel with electricity instead of gasoline or diesel. The planned series production vehicles will feature somewhat different technology, but Volvo said that the launch of the demonstration vehicles is a step towards series-producing PHEVs specifically tailored to market needs.