Volvo and Vattenfall have just made an announcement that should hurry the Swedish car maker along the hybrid highway. The two companies have partnered to develop a plug-in diesel hybrid that is expected to begin series production in 2012 with the first three demonstration vehicles to be completed this summer. Volvo, of course, will supply the cars, while the energy giant will bring charging units and the actual carbon-free electricity to the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) equation. Other hybrids being baked by the Ford-owned brand include a "micro-hybrid" for 2011 as well as the ReCharge concept.
Technologically, this PHEV is quite interesting. It will use 71% of its 11.3 kWh pack of lithium ion batteries to power the back wheels for about 30 miles (50 km). After that, the diesel engine takes over and will then drive the front wheels. The charging time for the battery is about five hours through a household type outlet and the car, which will use the body of the Volvo V70, will feature regenerative braking. Hit the jump for the official press release as well as a video outlining the program.