Volvo unveils world’s first plug in-and-go hybrid vehicle
Volvo today unveils the world’s first plug in-and-go hybrid vehicle which can be charged from any household socket, then switched to its 1.6 litre petrol engine when the battery runs low. It will travel pollution-free for 62 miles for under $2 after a three-hour charge from the mains. The Volvo ReCharge has the advantage over standard electric cars of being switchable to petrol power. The Volvo ReCharge produces 66 per cent lower carbon emissions than the best hybrids available today and comes with a top speed of 100mph and acceleration of 0- 62mph in nine seconds. The petrol engine cuts in automatically when 70 per cent of the battery power has been used up, and immediately begins to recharge the battery cells as well as power the car. The driver has the option to switch to petrol earlier – for instance on a motorway – to save battery capacity for driving through the next town.
Energy generated during braking is also transmitted back to the battery pack. The batteries have a life of 15 years, which Volvo engineers say is a major breakthrough in lithium battery technology. It will cost $1.80 to fully charge the car from the mains and drive “emission-free”, giving the equivalent of 3 cents per mile motoring. On a 100-mile trip – with petrol power taking over after 62 miles – motorists would achieve the equivalent of 124 miles to the gallon. The journey would use just three litres of petrol and cost under $6. Based on the existing Volvo C30, the ReCharge will be one of the stars at next week’s Frankfurt Motor Show where the world’s carmakers will be out-bidding each other to showcase their latest green technology. A showroom version of the prototype could be on sale within three years priced at about $36,500