Volvo shows first diesel hybrid
FIRST FOR VOLVO AND INDUSTRY: The new V60 plug-in hybrid has been integrated into Volvo's regular production line at its Swedish manufacturing plant.
Volvo Car is ramping up production of the diesel V60 Plug-in Hybrid ahead of first customer deliveries in early 2013. After the initial batch of 1000 cars for the 2013 model year, production will increase to 4000 or 6000 cars from model year 2014.
The assembly of, what Volvo claims, is the world's first diesel plug-in hybrid has been successfully integrated on the same production line as the "regular" V60, V70, XC70, S80 and XC90 models at the Torslanda plant in Gothenburg, Sweden.
AN INDUSTRY FIRST
An achievement, according to the automaker, considering the plug-in hybrid technology includes two complete drivetrains and a battery that provides a range of up to an equivalent of about 51km.
Peter Mertens, senior vice president for Research and Development at Volvo Car Corporation said: "We are first in the industry to integrate a plug-in hybrid in an established production flow together with other car models. The integration in the standard production flow gives the plug-in hybrid buyer the possibility to choose in principle all options available for the standard V60."
All the additional equipment and systems in the car have led to parts of the final assembly line being rebuilt and modified. The adaptation makes it possible to smoothly integrate the assembly of over 300 more parts that are included in the plug-in hybrid compared to an equivalent V60.
The integrated production flow allows the electric motor along with its drive shafts to be fitted on the same station as the final drive on the standard all-wheel drive models. The cooling system and the high voltage cables are assembled on the pallet, which is used to assemble the car's drivetrain and chassis parts.
The battery pack is lifted in through the car's tailgate - short side forward - before it is spun a quarter of a turn in the passenger compartment; this manoeuvre takes 60 seconds and is carried out with less than 20mm to spare.
The plug-in hybrid is the synthesis of close cooperation between Volvo and Swedish electricity supplier Vattenfall, the automaker said. The two companies have financed the development project jointly.
"It is a unique car, a historic step, not only for Volvo but for the entire car industry. The first year's 1000-car batch has sold out even before the car reached the showrooms and the order books for next year's cars are already filling up," Mertens said.