Volvo ramps up production of V60 Plug-in Hybrid

Article by Anita Panait, on November 20, 2012

Volvo Car Corporation is increasing the production of its Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid as the carmaker gets ready for its customer deliveries in early 2013. From the initial output of 1,000 units for model year 2013, the carmaker is set to increase the production of the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid from model year 2014.

Volvo has successfully integrated the production of the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid, considered as the world's first diesel plug-in hybrid, on the same production line as the regular powered V60, V70, XC70, S80 and XC90 models at its Torslanda plant in Gothenburg.

The production integration is considered a remarkable feat considering that the plug-in hybrid technology consists of two complete drive trains and a battery that offers a range of up to 32 miles on pure electric power.

Peter Mertens, Volvo’s Senior Vice President Research and Development, remarked that the carmaker is the first in the auto industry to integrate a plug-in hybrid in an established production flow together with other car models.

Mertens noted that the integration in the standard production flow gives the plug-in hybrid consumer the option to select in principle all alternatives available for the standard V60.

The final assembly line was rebuilt and modified since the V60 Plug-in Hybrid requires additional equipment and systems. This adaption makes it possible to seamlessly integrate the assembly of over 300 more parts of the V60 Plug-in Hybrid compared to a regular unit.

Mertens said that the 11.2 kWh lithium-type battery is the single most complex system in the V60 Plug-in Hybrid. He noted that the precision maneuver to place the battery there is an excellent example of the state-of-the-art assembly process.

Powertrain

Interestingly, the new Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid features a completely digital Driver Information Monitor (DIM), making it the first Volvo to be equipped with this system. DIM features a one-piece LED screen that offers an array of display options, thereby eliminating the need for conventional analogue gauges.

DIM allows drivers to pick which information to display using the car's menu setup. Interestingly, customers could employ a mobile app to communicate with the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid, giving them access to an array of smart functions like pre-cooling, after-cooling and air conditioning as well as a reminder to connect the charge cable if not done by a pre-arranged time.

In addition, the new Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid is the first Volvo to carry the D6 badge, as its five-cylinder turbodiesel engine and electric motor – when combined – provide the same horsepower as the petrol-powered T6 engine. Its five-cylinder 2.4-litre turbodiesel engine – through a six-speed automatic transmission -- provides up to 215 hp of output and 440 Nm of torque to the front wheels. On the other hand, an electric motor – powered by an 11.2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack located under the floor of the load compartment – supplies 70 hp to the rear wheels.

This compact battery pack features 200 cells grouped into 10 modules. The temperature of this battery system is monitored by an integrated computer, comparing the temperature and charge level of each cell. In addition, the battery pack features an integrated water-cooling system powered by the vehicle’s climate unit. The new Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid offers three driving modes -- Pure, Hybrid or Power -- each selectable through three buttons. When in Pure mode, the hybrid vehicle runs on pure electric power through its electric motor, offering a range of up to 50 kilometers and emitting zero carbon dioxide.

Of course, the range of the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid in Pure mode depends on the terrain, climate and driving style. Whenever drivers want to access the car’s greatest dynamics, they just have to choose the Power mode, in which diesel engine and electric motor provide a 215+70 hp of max output and 440+200 Nm in peak torque. Thanks to the electric motor's instant torque delivery, the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid could sprint from standstill to 100km/h in just 6.2 seconds.

Set as the standard setting upon startup, the Hybrid mode ensures a harmonious collaboration between diesel engine and the electric motor to provide a great balance between driving enjoyment and environmental footprint. In this mode, the hybrid vehicle emits 49 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer (NEDC, mixed driving cycle for certification) and consumes 1.9 liters of diesel per 100km. This mode allows the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid to travel up to 1,000km.

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