Volvo offers a year of free charging with plug-in hybrids

To help encourage emissions-free driving, Volvo's giving buyers a big kickback when it comes to charging costs for its new plug-in hybrid.

Tim Stevens Former editor at large for CNET Cars
Tim Stevens got his start writing professionally while still in school in the mid '90s, and since then has covered topics ranging from business process management to video game development to automotive technology.
Tim Stevens

Plug-in hybrids are expensive, generally costing several thousand dollars more than their gasoline-powered counterparts. That cost can be offset by lower costs of running, including fuel and maintenance costs, but taking that to the next level by making a year's worth of charging free.

Announced alongside the company's new XC40 Recharge, the all-electric, 200-mile version of Volvo's smallest SUV, Volvo is now pledging that buyers of any of the company's plug-in hybrids will receive "free electricity for a year" in the form of a rebate at the end of the year based on "average electricity cost during that period."

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Recharge is Volvo's new label for its electrified products. By 2025, the company pledges half of its offerings will be hybrids, the other half fully electric. That's an aggressive ramp-up for a market that's still somewhat skeptical of EVs, but free charging will surely help.

For more drivers of plug-in hybrids, the savings likely won't be huge, since a full charge generally costs a few dollars at most. However, dropping that to zero will surely encourage owners to get those things plugged in every night. Think of it as a bit of extra incentive for those who are not quite ready to live the full-on EV lifestyle.