Volvo road tests ReCharge plug-in hybrid concept

Volvo announces tests of its plug-in hybrid concept, along with a full hybrid program.

Volvo ReCharge concept
The Volvo ReCharge concept is built on the C30 model. Volvo

Volvo showed off its ReCharge plug-in hybrid concept, based on the Volvo C30 model , at last year's Frankfurt auto show. We were skeptical when we saw it because even though it looked cool, Volvo only had a cutaway demonstration model to show off, and the company has no current hybrid cars among its model lineup. But Volvo reports today that it has a working concept on the road as part of a larger program to develop next generation powertrains. Volvo, in a consortium with Saab, the Swedish government, and energy company Vattenfall, announced a five-year plan to develop plug-in hybrids. The consortium's goal is to produce a fleet of 10 plug-in hybrid cars, using Sweden as a testing field. We are a little underwhelmed by this level of ambition, as there are already companies in the U.S. offering plug-in conversions of existing hybrids. As part of this plan, Volvo announced it will offer a hybrid variant of one or more existing models within five years. At this time, Volvo isn't saying what type of hybrid technology it will use, but owner Ford already offers a hybrid system similar to Toyota's on its Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner . When the ReCharge concept was introduced, Volvo specified lithium-polymer batteries and in-wheel electric motors, with a small flex-fuel generator onboard as a range extender.

About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.


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