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Volvo V60 Diesel Hybrid by 2012

Volvo has updated their announcement: expect a 125 mpg hybrid wagon with a 745 mile range and all wheel drive (diesel front, electric rear) to be available as soon as 2012 in Europe. It will debut at the Geneva car show.

The V60 PHEV has three main modes of operation: hybrid, all-electric, and power. The modes are selected by pressing the respective selection button on the car’s center console. A fourth mode, which can be entered at any time and is only used when the car’s traction control system needs it, enables an all wheel drive (AWD) system to give the V60 PHEV sure-footed manners in poor road conditions.

The diesel and electric engines together give 285 horsepower and 472 pound feet of torque; 0-60 under 7 seconds. Ford should have been the one to announce this amazing vehicle, back when they made the stunning Jaguar diesel, but oh well. It could have been a Cadillac, but oh well. It even could have been a group of talented high-school students…but instead here is the new V60:

Volvo V60 Diesel Hybrid

The diesel hybrid has many important advantages over electric or gasoline hybrid vehicles, as I have written before.

First, diesel fuel can be produced by anyone practically anywhere so there is no dependency on a grid, processor, exploration or infrastructure.

Second, it runs on fuel already widely available so there is no range limitation. The opposite, actually, as fuel stations today serve vehicles that can travel less than 400 miles on a tank. With nearly double the range this car can skip a lot of time wasted on recharge and refueling stops. Imagine filling up once a month instead of one a week (gaining at least 0.5 hours a week).

Third, even small diesel engines have the power to handle the weight of a family on vacation. Volvo says it is designed to pull up to 2 tons with a hitch, carry five passengers as well as 11 cubic feet of luggage, all while staying within the designed gross vehicle weight.

This is the exact car I have been trying to find for nearly a decade. Thank you Volvo! My only question is how soon can I buy one.

…will U.S. buyers want a plug-in Diesel hybrid? Diesels have gained more acceptance of late, but we feel Diesels still have a long way to go before the V60 PHEV is received by the U.S. general public with open arms.

Are they f#$%^@@#^ng kidding me?!

I could buy ten of these at sticker price today and sell them in the US for a profit two years from now, guaranteed. When I bought my diesel wagon in 2004 it was less expensive than the gasoline engine. I found four years later I still could have sold it for far more than I paid; it actually appreciated in value while the gasoline model resale price dropped. Craigslist ads have been filled with "TDI wanted". Mechanics told me year after year they had a line of people asking them where they could buy a new diesel and they offered me cash. On top of all my anecdotal evidence, when Audi and VW diesels were finally reintroduced they (as predicted) crushed the gasoline sales numbers and boosted Audi's bottom line. The data and trend is obvious. Americans love the new diesel cars.

Yet, some still ask if America is ready for diesel? Please.

The US is more ready than Europe for this technology. Just think about it. The US has wide open roads and long distances, trailers and heavy passengers, tough and rapidly changing driving conditions…a diesel hybrid all wheel drive wagon is the ideal car for America. Imagine commercial fleets that replace their pickups and vans with the efficient and roomy yet powerful design of hybrid diesel wagons and recoup the cost in under three years.

Yes, yes, yes, more than ready. I can think of more than a dozen Americans willing and able to buy one today.

I took a few liberties with their advertising campaign, but I think this might work. It's goodbye bio-hippies who want to do the right thing; hello cyberpunks who desire innovation in highly-efficient power.

"There's more to life, that's why"

Naughty V60

Posted in Energy, Security.


5 Responses

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  1. Joe says

    make it thirteen.

  2. bbbwwm says

    I'd sell my TDI and buy one these diesel hybrids V60s in a heartbeat.

  3. Ben says

    Thank you Davi, really enjoy reading this. Feels like there are several roadblocks to making this happen in the US. What's the reason that VW went from TDI to gas hybrid? I'm staying optimistic but if feels like there's a bigger push for CNG.

  4. Davi Ottenheimer says

    @Ben The CNG companies are pushing for CNG vehicles. I do not know anyone or even an industry analyst pushing for CNG. The real story of CNG is hydraulic fracturing, of fracking, which is stirring controversy related to serious environmental harm and health risks. And then you run into the same infrastructure problems as hydrogen: limited supply and limited fuel stations. It will be very expensive to build a generation and distribution system that no one wants to live anywhere near. On top of that, CNG has terrible energy density compared to diesel. A massive fuel tank that forces car manufacturers to redesign their car and limits storage space will give only a couple hundred miles.

    Compare it with how diesel gives you over 600 miles on just 15 gallons, removes the need for distribution (e.g. local production possible that actually benefits the environment by removing waste and growing more plants) and already has fuel stations everywhere…diesel is a far less expensive short and long-term answer. CNG really makes no sense as an option unless they can solve the fracking effects, the redesign requirements for vehicles and the expensive infrastructure. The only benefit is that it is a domestic supply, but destroying domestic health/environment and building dead-end vehicles/infrastructure is not a good risk management trade-off.

    VW is including a gas-hybrid in their lineup to compete in the American market more directly. Every time I speak with someone in America who hasn't heard about modern diesel cars they can't believe the data I give them. Diesel VW in 2004 were getting 40mpg and today they're getting over 60mpg. Their eyes go wide and they ask "why hasn't anyone told me this before". But if I tell them a gas-hybrid is made by VW they are calm and comfortable. They say things like "oh, I've heard about the Prius". It is very common for Americans to believe they are making a safe decision by following what others are doing, so VW is selling into the subset of the market that only can imagine buying a gas-hybrid.

  5. jina salisbury says

    Terrific work! This is the kind of info that should be shared across the internet.



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