News item | 2012-04-30 | 08:20 AM

Plug-in Hybrid with unique technical solutions


Vattenfall and Volvo’s V60 Plug-in Hybrid is the car manufacturer’s most technically advanced car model ever. According to Vattenfall’s electric car expert Tommy Lindholm, it is the driver’s options of choosing between three driving modes, the car’s performance and low fuel consumption that make it unique on the market.

From an environmental perspective, the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid is superior to the first generation of hybrid cars, which basically just reduce carbon dioxide emissions by around 15 per cent compared with the same model without hybrid operation.

“In hybrid mode, the large, rechargeable battery unit in the V60 Plug-in Hybrid produces 65 per cent less carbon dioxide emissions than an ordinary V60 with the same diesel engine: 49 g/km. This is equivalent to a minimum fuel consumption of 1.9 litres/100 km according to the EU-cycle,” explains Tommy Lindholm.

The driver can choose driving mode by pressing a button on the dashboard. Pushing the ”Pure” button means that the car exclusively uses the electric motor (range: up to 50 kilometres). The ”Hybrid” button switches the car over to the hybrid system.

“In this mode, the car is powered by both electric and diesel power; which means that, for example, the electric motor backs up the diesel engine during acceleration. In ”Hybrid” mode. the car’s range rises to 1,200 kilometres,” says Tommy Lindholm. The “Power” mode makes 215 plus 70 hp available, which is sufficient to accelerate the car from 0 to 100 km/hr in 6.2 seconds.

The Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid is also equipped with the ”Save battery for later” function. The diesel engine charges the battery so that it is possible to drive up to 20 kilometres on electric power at a later occasion.

“There is a button on the instrument panel where the driver can choose to make the car four-wheel drive in road conditions that require increased accessibility on slippery surfaces. The four wheel drive function is made possible as the diesel engine drives the front wheels and the electric motor drives the rear wheels and both drives can be synchronized for safe propulsion”.

The car’s compact battery unit consists of ten modules, each with 20 cells. An integrated computer monitors and compares temperature and charge level in each of the 200 cells.

The battery unit also has a separate climate system that heats or cools the battery so that the optimum operating temperature is always maintained, independently of the outdoor climate.

This is the third in a series of articles on e-mobility, where we describe what it involves and why Vattenfall feels it is important.