Volvo’s new plug-in hybrid increases electric-only range

Volvo has introduced a new plug-in hybrid powertrain which improves the electric-only range of many cars in its line-up.

Set to be introduced to its 90 and 60 series models, the new setup brings a claimed electric range of up to 56 miles on a single charge.

The improvements come through the fitment of a long-range battery, which incorporates a third layer of cells to increase its energy capacity from 11.6kWh to 18.8kWh. A more powerful electric motor has also been fitted, bringing a combined power output of 345bhp for Recharge T6 models and 448bhp on Recharge T8 versions – the latter becoming the most powerful Volvo ever produced.

Volvo plug-in hybrid
Larger batteries contribute to an extended range

Volvo believes that the increased battery capacity has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions ‘by up to around 50 per cent’, too.

“It’s 2021, and people should no longer have to rely on petrol or diesel when commuting,” said Henrik Green, chief technology officer at Volvo Cars. “Our latest plug-in hybrids deliver all the electric driving range needed in most people’s everyday life.”

The e-motor now sends up to 65 per cent of its power to the rear wheels, which Volvo says will help when travelling at low speeds or when towing.

One pedal driving has also been introduced with the new setup. It gives drivers the ability to control the acceleration and deceleration of the vehicle through the accelerator pedal alone. Lift off the pedal and the car will begin to slow itself down through regenerative braking, rather than rolling in a conventional manner.

Thanks to the larger battery, drivers will also be able to pre-heat or pre-cool their cars without having to plug them in. Though this will use some of the battery’s charge, Volvo is adamant that it will leave cars with a ‘generous amount of electric range’.

“Driving a plug-in hybrid is often a stepping-stone to going fully electric,” added Henrik Green. “We believe that this upgrade will show to many that driving electric is the future, and take us closer to our 2030 ambition of becoming fully electric.”