Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid Debuts In 2012

[Editor's Note: A previous version of this story reported the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid would be coming to the United States.  That is inaccurate at this time - EarthTechling regrets the error.]

Soccer mom alert! Volvo is jumping into the ever expanding hybrid market with the release of its V60 Plug-in Hybrid, a family-friendly wagon based on the Swedish automaker’s popular V60. We’ve been following the progress of this vehicle for sometime, noting its debut at the Geneva Auto Show earlier this year.

Upon its release, the v60 will be the world’s first diesel plug in hybrid production car. The V60 has a range of up to 31 miles when driven purely by the electric motor. When the car is driven with the electric and diesel engine operating in tandem, according to Motor Trend, the range skyrockets to 745.6 miles.

Volvo V60

image via Volvo

The V60 is powered by a 2.4 liter, five-cylinder D5 turbo-diesel engine, which when combined with the lithium-ion battery powered electric motor produces 285 horsepower and can go from zero to 60 MPH in a decent 6.9 seconds. The Volvo’s battery can be charged off a typical home socket and can get a full charge in about 4.5 hours.

The driver can select from a number of different operating modes, including full engine power, a combo engine/electric and full electric.  When driving the car in nasty weather the AWD mode turns on both sets of motors to increase traction and control. The computer is able to determine  how much power to send each wheel providing maximum traction and fuel efficiency. A driver can input the distance of his journey before leaving and the car will determine the best route and the best use of diesel or electric power to achieve high fuel efficiency.

The company announced that the V60 Plug-in Hybrid would be available in Europe starting next year. There’s no word on a confirmed release date in America, but Motortrend reports some type of Volvo plug-in hybrid could come our way in the next couple of years.

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Steve Duda lives in West Seattle, WA with three dogs and a lot of outdoor gear. A part-time fly fishing fishing guide and full-time writer, Steve’s work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Seattle Weekly, American Angler, Fly Fish Journal, The Drake, Democracy Now! and many others.