Vattenfall and Volvo partner to develop plug-in hybrid vehicles


Home charging of Volvo
V70 plug-in hybrid
demonstration car
Stockholm and Göteborg, Sweden — (METERING.COM) — June 3, 2009 – Swedish energy company Vattenfall and the Volvo Car Corporation are launching an industrial joint venture partnership to introduce plug-in hybrid vehicles to the market, with the first PHEV Volvos due to become commercially available in 2012.

Vattenfall will develop the charging systems and supply the cars with electricity, while the Ford-owned Volvo will manufacture the cars.

In January 2007, Vattenfall and Volvo launched a joint project with the aim of testing and developing plug-in technology. Now this cooperation is being taken to the next level, with the two companies believing that series production of plug-in hybrid cars and the development of infrastructure can generate new jobs and help Sweden maintain its position at the cutting edge of advanced pro-environmental technology.

One of the major benefits of plug-in hybrids is that they can be charged from a regular household wall socket.

“Through this cooperation we hope to be able to speed up the introduction of electric cars,” says Lars G Josefsson, president and CEO of Vattenfall. “Together we are developing the next generation technology based on plug-in cars and various charging alternatives.”

Vattenfall will offer customers the opportunity to sign an agreement for renewable electricity sourced specifically from wind power or hydropower, as an alternative to the regular mix of electricity sources.

The aim is to series-produce plug-in hybrid cars that can be powered by both electricity and diesel in Sweden in 2012.

“Most car journeys are short trips, for instance to and from work. We will be able to offer a product that fulfils this transportation need. In order to cover longer distances as well, the car will also be equipped with one of Volvo’s fuel-efficient diesel engines,” says Stephen Odell, president and CEO of the Volvo Car Corporation.
In the summer of 2009, three Volvo V70 demonstration cars will be presented, which will be used to gather information about the wishes and demands that drivers may have on the new technology, to determine their driving habits and to establish how they want to charge their cars. Vattenfall will, among other things, test various concepts for high-speed home charging and also for charging stations in public places.

The cars that are planned to go into series production in 2012 will feature somewhat different technology, but the launch of the demonstration vehicles is a step towards series-producing plug-in hybrid cars specifically tailored to market needs.