The trick here for Volvo was designing safety measures for a car with a heavy battery pack weighing it down. The structure had to be modified and reinforced with a controlled deformation to bring up the safety level. "The Euro NCAP score demonstrates that the ingenious V60 Plug-in Hybrid features the same outstanding safety level as the standard car," said Jan Ivarsson, senior manager safety strategy & requirements at Volvo Car Group, in a statement.
Fuel consumption was also a priority in the design. The V60 comes in three driving modes: Pure, Hybrid and Power. In Hybrid mode, fuel consumption is reduced to just 1.8 liters per 100 kilometer (131 miles per gallon) and 48 grams per kilometer of CO2.
As of late September, the first 1,000 units of the 2013 model year V60 had been purchased.
A few months ago, the all-new 2013 Volvo V40 took some of the top scores in crash tests that Euro NCAP has ever awarded. The car ended up with strong performance in all four crash test categories – adult occupant, child occupant, pedestrian and safety assist.
Volvo Car Group has a philosophy that an electrified car should be as safe as any other new Volvo car. This is now highlighted by the latest Euro NCAP results. The new Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid has achieved the highest- ever score for a plug-in hybrid. The five stars in the recent test, which included a frontal offset collision at 64 km/h (40 mph), demonstrates that the V60 Plug-in Hybrid has the same high safety level as the standard V60.
"We apply the same high standards to all our products. The Euro NCAP score demonstrates that the ingenious V60 Plug-in Hybrid features the same outstanding safety level as the standard car," says Jan Ivarsson, Senior Manager Safety Strategy & Requirements at Volvo Car Group.
The European rating institute Euro NCAP presents an overall rating for each car model tested. Separate tests are carried out in four sub-categories, which are used to produce an overall grade. Detailed information about the tests and the results can be found at: www.euroncap.com.
Unique safety approach
The integration of the battery pack and the added weight the batteries create required a unique safety approach during the development of the V60 Plug-in Hybrid. The structure has been modified and reinforced to enable a controlled deformation to help provide a high safety level. The battery pack in the V60 Plug-in Hybrid is well encapsulated and located under the load floor.
"The Plug-in Hybrid has been exposed to an extensive test programme during the development phase, as all our new car models," says Jan Ivarsson. "This includes full-scale crash tests with different load cases, such as frontal collision, rear and side collisions to verify that also the battery technology fulfils our stringent safety requirements. The V60 Plug-in Hybrid also offers all unique Volvo active safety functions, such as City Safety, Collision Warning with full Auto Brake and Pedestrian Detection."
Sold out in advance
Production of the new V60 Plug-in Hybrid is ramping up and the first 1,000 'Pure Limited' cars were sold out even before they reached the showrooms. After this initial production of cars for model year 2013, production of the Plug-in Hybrid will increase to 4,000-6,000 cars for model year 2014 - and next year's build slots are already filling up.
The Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid is the synthesis of close cooperation between Volvo Car Group and Swedish electricity supplier Vattenfall. The two companies have financed the development project jointly.
Three cars in one
The driver of the V60 Plug-in Hybrid need make no compromise in their motoring by using the car's three driving modes: Pure, Hybrid and Power. Fuel consumption is just 1.8 l/100 km (48 g/km CO2) in Hybrid mode (NEDC driving cycle).
In addition, the driver can choose to cover up to 50 kilometres on electric power with zero tailpipe emissions - or release the combined capacity of the diesel engine and electric motor to create a performance drivers car delivering 215+70 horsepower, 440+200 Nm of torque and acceleration from 0-100 km/h in 6.1 seconds.