Anyone who has followed Volvo with even the most casual of interest is undoubtedly well aware that the Swedish automaker has seen better days. As a European luxury brand, Volvo has struggled in recent years to distinguish itself and its defining features from fellow Tier 1 competitors, but the seemingly endless battle appears to be over. Cresting high on the success of the impressively engineered XC60, Volvo has announced that its next line of attack will include a plug-in diesel hybrid, which is something none of the other Euro boys can currently brag about.
Purportedly based on the Volvo V70 wagon, Volvo Cars North America president and CEO Doug Speck confirmed that the Volvo PHEV was intended to hit North American shores sometime within the next few years but declined to offer a concrete date. Little has been seen of the mysterious PHEV ’round the West, but a fleet of test vehicles have apparently already been commissioned as part of a research partnership with Swedish energy company Vattenfall AB. According to Speck, the plans are already in place and now it’s all about execution. Unfortunately, due to the primitive nature of lithium-ion battery technology, Volvo faces the same setbacks and time delays as every other automaker, which means the future of the V70-based plug-in hybrid is largely a waiting game. Regardless of the significant obstacles littering the Swedish subsidiary’s path, however, Speck is confident Volvo will emerge from the industry crisis with a stronger reputation and an iron grip on a formidable chunk of the market.
Source: Ward’s Auto