The Volvo V60 Recharge Plug-In Hybrid Estate: The Complete Guide For India

Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid India
Price: N/A
Type of electric vehicle: Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Body type: Estate
Battery size: 18.8 kWh
Electric range (WLTP): 54.7 miles
Tailpipe emissions: 18g (CO2/km)


Electric Cars: The Basics


For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:

For those keen on an overview of the global electric vehicle (EV) market and the different types of electric vehicles (EVs), simply scroll down to the end of the article!


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The Volvo V60 Recharge Plug-In Hybrid Estate


Sweden has created its fair share of global brands, but none with a reputation as good as Volvo Cars, when it comes to passenger safety. Volvo cars is an automotive manufacturer based in Gothenburg, Sweden. The Volvo Group has a long history of success and was established in 1927. The Volvo electric vehicle (EV) current portfolio includes:

The Volvo V60 conventional petrol and diesel variants have been available since 2010. The second generation V60 estate was launched in 2016. As with other Volvo models, the company has also introduced the V60 as a lower emission plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).

The update Volvo V60 Recharge PHEV has much to offer families and company-car drivers seeking a practical and spacious electric vehicle (EV). The upgrade of the onboard EV battery to 18.8 kWh has positioned this estate electric car, as one of the few EVs capable of delivering a real-world emission-free electric range close to 50 miles.

Volvo claims a pure electric range up to 54.7 miles (WLTP certified), however, the real-world EV range will be closer to 48 miles. Nevertheless, it is an impressive and certainly very useful EV range to reduce the cost of motoring. Do keep in mind that driving an electric car is far cheaper than driving a conventional petrol or engine car. There are real financial savings to be gained in electric driving.

Moreover, using the electric mode, also improves the overall efficiency of the vehicle. Volvo claims a fuel economy up to 353.1 mpg for the estate PHEV. Of course, the real-world fuel economy will be lower, but far improved compared to the fuel economy of the conventional petrol variant (44.8 mpg). The EV also benefits from regenerative braking to improve range and vehicle efficiency.

Despite the updates, it is disappointing to note that the PHEV does not offer DC charging. The EV has a 3.6 kW onboard charger. The Volvo electric vehicle can be charged 0% to 100% via a dedicated EV charging station in 5 hours. We at e-zoomed recommend a ‘topping up’ approach to EV charging. This way, EV range is available to use and regular charging also improves the long-term maintenance of the onboard EV battery. Volvo offers a 8 years or 100,000 miles warranty.

Despite the placement of the onboard EV battery, practicality has not been compromised, in comparison to the conventional petrol variant. The V60 plug-in offers a 519 L boot and ample space for passengers. The interior has been finished to a high standard and offers leather free upholstery and recycled carpets. It also offers a generous level of standard equipment, safety features and technology. These include: google built in, 360° camera, BLIS and cross traffic alert, keyless entry and keyless start, advanced air purifier, intelligent safety assistance and more.

Also improved are the tailpipe emissions for the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. The V60 PHEV has tailpipe emission up to 18g CO2/km, benefiting the local air quality. The conventional petrol variant has tailpipe emissions up to 142g CO2/km.

The all-wheel drive V60 plug-in electric estate car combines the T6 2.0-litre powertrain with an electric motor. The EV can achieve 0-62 mph in 5.2 seconds (350 hp). The top speed of the EV is 112 mph. The plug-in hybrid is not available in India.


PROS CONS
Good emission-free electric rangeDespite the price tag, DC charging unavailable
High interior quality with good level of standard equipmentOnboard charger limited to 3.6 kW
Attractive exterior stylingA relatively expensive plug-in hybrid estate car

The Volvo V60 Recharge Plug-In Hybrid (credit: Volvo)


Driving an electric vehicle (EV) is cheaper than driving a petrol or diesel vehicle. As an example, in India, filling a full tank of fuel for the internal combustion engine (ICE) Tata Nexon SUV will cost up to Rs 5,000 (assuming an average cost per litre of Rs 100. The Tata Nexon has a fuel tank capacity of 44 L).

In comparison, the Tata Nexon Pure Electric SUV will cost less than Rs 300 for a full EV battery charge (EV Battery size: 30.2 kWh). In India, the average cost for residential electricity is between Rs 5 to Rs 10 per kWh(unit). Therefore the cost to drive per km (or mile) in a pure electric vehicle is substantially lower than a petrol or diesel vehicle.

At an average one can expect a cost per km of Rs 1 for a zero-emission EV, while for an equivalent petrol or diesel vehicle, the cost per km could be up to Rs 7 per km. The annual cost savings achieved by switching to electric driving is significant!


At A Glance
EV Type:Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Vehicle Type:Estate
Engine:Electric/ Petrol
Available In India:No

Trims (3 Options)
Inscription
R-Design
Polestar Engineered

EV Battery & Emissions
EV Battery Type:Lithium-ion
EV Battery Capacity:Available in one battery size: 18.8 kWh
Charging:DC charging not available. Onboard charger: 3.6 kW AC (0% – 100%: 5 hrs)
Charge Port:Type 2
EV Cable Type:Type 2
Tailpipe Emissions:18g (CO2/km)
Battery Warranty:8 years or 100,000 miles

Charging Times (Overview)
Slow charging AC (3 kW – 3.6 kW):6 – 12 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SOC)
Fast charging AC (7 kW – 22 kW):3 – 8 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging AC (43 kW):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging DC (50 kW+):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Ultra rapid charging DC (150 kW+):0-80% : 20 mins to 40 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Tesla Supercharger (120 kW – 250 kW):0-80%: up to 25 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)

Dimensions
Height (mm):1437
Width (mm):1916
Length (mm):4761
Wheelbase (mm):2872
Turning Circle (m):11.4
Boot Space (L):519

Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid (T6 AWD)
EV Battery Capacity:18.8 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):54.7 miles (combined)
Electric Energy Consumption:17.7 kWh/62 miles
Fuel Consumption (mpg):353.1 (combined)
Charging:DC charging not available. Onboard charger: 3.6 kW AC (0% – 100%: 5 hrs)
Top Speed:112 mph
0-62 mph:5.2 seconds
Drive:All-wheel drive (AWD)
Electric Motor (kW):N/A
Horsepower (hp):350
Torque (Nm):400
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:5
Gross Vehicle Weight (kg):2,480
Colours:9
NCAP Safety Rating:Five-Star

Global Electric Vehicle (EV) Market


Battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), more commonly referred to simply as, electric vehicles (EVs) or as plug-in electric cars, have come a long way over the past decade and certainly a long way over the past 100 years.

Electric vehicles came into prominence in the early 1900’s, a time when horse-drawn carriages were the primary mode of transportation.  Archived black and white photographs from that period show famous avenues like Madison Avenue in New York city filled with horse-drawn carriages.  In stark contrast, a similar photograph taken a decade later of Madison Avenue showed not a single horse-drawn carriage.  Instead the avenue was filled with motor vehicles, a new invention at that time. 

We are now witnessing a similar fundamental shift in road transportation, as polluting internal combustion engines (ICE) petrol and diesel vehicles are being replaced by low-emission and zero-emission electric vehicles. In countries like the United Kingdom, a leader in e-mobility, we can expect a comprehensive replacement of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030 (UK will ban the sale of new ICE cars in 2030). The UK is not the only country that has a vision of a mass transition to zero-tailpipe emission electric cars.

Since 2011, the global electric vehicle (EV) market has increased at a year-over-year growth rate of over 50%. In 2020, according to the Global EV Outlook 2021 report, the global stock of electric vehicles (EVs) had surpassed 10 million units . In 2015, the Global stock was just over 1 million units. In 2020, Europe accounted for the largest share of new car registrations of EVs (1.4 million registered electric vehicles), followed by China (1.2 million electric vehicles). In Europe, countries like Norway, Iceland and Sweden continue to show strong leadership in the transition to electric driving. In Norway more than 75% of new cars are electric, followed by 50% in Iceland and 30% in Sweden.

However, this is not just a western phenomenon. A number of countries across the world have announced their support for electric cars, to include India. Pure electric cars are now common sightings in a number of global markets, and EV automotive manufacturers, like California based Tesla Motors are now household brands.

Traditional automotive manufactures have also shown significant commitment to the migration to electric engines, to include Volvo Cars, the Volkswagen Group, Renault, Nissan, Peugeot, Hyundai, Mercedes, Land Rover and many more. Forecast for the sale of EVs suggest up to 30 million electric vehicles to be sold before the end of the current decade.


Types Of Electric Vehicles (EVs)


Electric vehicle” is an umbrella term, and a broad one at that. There are a number of different types of electric vehicles (EVs), each with its distinct characteristics and advantages. These include:

  • BEVs: Battery-electric vehicles (pure electric)
  • PHEVs: Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (electric and internal combustion engine (ICE) combined)
  • MHEVs: Mild hybrid electric vehicles (internal combustion engine (gasoline or diesel) along with regenerative braking)
  • FCEVs: Fuel cell electric vehicle (electric with hydrogen as fuel)

The above “types” are powered either entirely or partially by electric energy and have different environmental impacts.


Battery-Electric Vehicles (BEVs)


Battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), also known as pure electric vehicles, are powered entirely by electricity (i.e. the vehicle does not have a conventional internal combustion engine). BEVs have zero-tailpipe emissions and help improve local air quality.

BEVs are also very economical to drive. A BEV can cost as little as Rs 50 per 100 kilometres to drive. Examples of best-selling EVs include, the all-electric Tesla Model 3 and the all-electric Renault Zoe. A BEV is charged by plugging in the electric vehicle to a dedicated electric car charging station (home or public charging stations). BEVs are well suited for those living in towns, cities and urban centres. Of course, battery-electric vehicles are also suitable for those living in rural settings.


Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs)


Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) differ from battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), in that, PHEVs use both a conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) and an electric engine for propulsion. Plug-in hybrid vehicles combine the advantages of electric driving and internal combustion engine driving.

On shorter distances, the PHEV uses the electric mode to drive emission-free, using the on-board EV battery and regenerative braking. For longer distances, the plug-in hybrid electric vehicles switches to using the internal combustion engine. With a PHEV, the vehicle can cost as little Rs 50 per 100 kilometres to drive on e-mode, without any tailpipe pollution, and also be driven long-distances, without the fear of range anxiety! Most PHEVs have an EV battery of up to 15 kWh and can achieve a zero-emission electric range of up to 50 kilometres. No wonder PHEVs are fast becoming popular globally, with much potential or India. Like a BEV, the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle is charged by using an external power source (EV charging point) for charging.

PHEVs are suitable for those that drive long-distances on a regular basis but want to lower the negative environmental impact from tailpipe pollution. PHEVs are also suitable for those individuals and families that are seeking to save money by taking advantage of electric driving. The Volvo XC40 PHEV and the Volkswagen Golf 8 are good examples of PHEVs.


Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicles (MHEVs)


Mild hybrid electric vehicles (MHEVs) are a limited form of electric driving. These vehicles also use hybrid technologies (electric driving and internal combustion engine), but the EV battery is much smaller than a BEV or PHEV. Moreover, in a mild hybrid, the EV battery cannot be charged via an external source (i.e. EV charging station). In a MHEV, the battery is charged by capturing the energy released during braking, a process known as regenerative braking. MHEVs have lower tailpipe emissions, and are more economical to own, run and maintain than petrol and diesel cars. MHEVs are a better option than a petrol or diesel car, but not as good an option as a BEV or PHEV. Mild hybrids are well suited for those living in regions with limited charging infrastructure. Again, MHEVs have great potential in India, given the limited public EV charging infrastructure.

The Toyota Prius is a good example of a mild hybrid electric vehicle.


Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs)


Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) also called hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, have a fuel cell stack that uses hydrogen to generate the electricity needed to power the electric vehicle. The fuel cell generates electricity and pure water vapour that can escape via the tailpipe. It is capable of generating electricity as long as there is a steady supply of hydrogen. Fuel cell electric vehicles can be refuelled with hydrogen at purpose built filling stations. Filling an FEC takes no more than five minutes.

FCEVs have a range of about 500 kilometers or more between refueling. Today, the only and major limitation is the very limited hydrogen refuelling station network globally. The Toyota Mirai FCEV is a good example of this type of EV.


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Author

Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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