Volvo has started series production of its V60 Plug-in Hybrid ahead of first customer deliveries in early 2013. After an initial batch of 1,000 cars, which is already sold out, production will increase to 4,000-6,000 cars from model year 2014.The world’s first diesel plug-in hybrid (Toyota was first to market, but it uses a petrol internal combustion engine in conjunction with a plug-in electric drivetrain) is built on the same production line as the regular V60 at Volvo’s Torslanda factory in Gothenburg.
Peter Mertens, Volvo’s senior vice-president of research and development, 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.”
An additional 300 parts over the conventional V60 and the supplementary systems of a plug-in hybrid have led to parts of the final assembly line being modified.
For instance, the electric motor along with its drive shafts to the rear wheels is fitted at the same workstation as the final drive on the standard all-wheel drive models, while the battery pack is lifted in through the tailgate then rotated a quarter of a turn in the passenger compartment – it takes 60 seconds but there’s only 20mm to spare.
“The 11.2 kWh lithium-type battery is the single most complex system in the car. The precision manoeuvre to get it in place is an excellent example of the state-of-the-art assembly process,” said Mertens.
The Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid has been jointly financed by Volvo and the Swedish electricity supplier Vattenfall.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.