Electing to ignore the complications wrought by the price placed on their head by parent company, Ford, Volvo has announced their plans to unleash some fierce competition onto the hybrid market beginning in 2011. First on the list is the Volvo DRIVe line-up, announced months ago and already available on the current market, which consists of clean-diesel variants of the Volvo C30, S40, and V50. While not technically hybrid vehicles, the 1.6L diesel engines the DRIVe models are equipped with are incredibly eco-friendly, emitting less than 120g/km of CO2. By 2011, Volvo plans to expand the DRIVe lineup to include the S60, S80, and XC60, and eventually intends to engineer all DRIVe Volvo’s to produce less than 100g/km of CO2.
For those still not quite comfortable with the idea of “clean diesel”, Volvo’s expansion plans for 2011 also include the addition of a micro hybrid, completely independent of the DRIVe family. Expected to be offered with either a diesel or standard gasoline engine, the Volvo micro-hybrid will utilize the same fuel-saving technology found on many domestic dual-hybrids. Although the electric power source will most likely not be powerful enough to provide sole power to the Volvo micro hybrid at speeds greater than 25 mph, a regenerative braking system and auxiliary generators do promise to improve fuel economy by a total of 5%.
For the full green monty, Volvo is going to keep us waiting until 2012. In 2012, Volvo will release a full hybrid vehicle onto the market that will be powered by both a D5 diesel engine and an alternative source of electric power which will supposedly provide a 15% boost in fuel efficiency. Sometime shortly thereafter, Volvo also plans to introduce a plug-in hybrid onto the market, based on the Volvo ReCharge concept, that will feature a range of about 60 miles-per-charge.
Volvo ReCharge Concept