Volvo and Saab In Partnership To Develop Plug-In Hybrids
By Kevin Miller
Volvo Car Corporation announced last week that they have joined with Saab Automobile, Swedish electricity provider Vattenfall, ETC and the Swedish state, to launch a joint research venture to develop spearhead technology in the area of plug-in hybrid cars. The goal of the four corporations working on this project is to develop and demonstrate the next-generation of hybrid cars. Initially, a fleet of 10 plug-in hybrids will be produced that can be recharged directly from the mains wall socket. This was the premise of Volvo’s ReCharge Concept (January, 2008), pictured above. The technology produced by this partnership will be tested in Sweden.
Throughout Volvo’s history, the Swedish automaker has worked with various organizations to develop new vehicle technologies. With this project the company aims to participate in and shape decisions and initiatives that are taken both within and outside the car industry.”I see this project as a positive further development of sustainable personal transport. We have a unique opportunity to take the lead when it comes to innovations for advanced green-car technology”, says Fredrik Arp, President and CEO of Volvo Car Corporation. “We want to be involved in setting up the rules for the future and to help build up broad-based competence in Sweden in this vital area,” says Arp.
Over a five year period, Volvo Cars will invest just over 11 billion SEK ($1.816 billion US) in development aimed at reducing fuel consumption and emissions. To that end, Volvo currently offers a wide range Flexfuel engines throughout Europe. Additionally the company is continuing to enhance the efficiency of its gasoline- and diesel-powered cars. Volvo is also focusing intensively on hybrid technology. In the medium term the company will introduce hybrid variants where an electric motor supports the combustion engine. In the longer term, plug-in hybrids will be introduced.
Volvo’s introduction of more efficient cars can’t come soon enough in the US, where their most efficient vehicles are their S40 and V50 with 2.4 liter 5-cylinder engine, which have an EPA rating of 20/28 MPG on recommended Premium Unleaded.
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