More info on the Saab-Volvo plug-in hybrid partnership

The Volvo ReCharge

The other day, we got a tip from Stefan N. about a story he found that discussed a new partnership between Saab and Volvo on developing new plug-in hybrids. I asked him to provide us with a more complete translation of the original article (it was in Swedish) and he then provided us his own English version. Thanks, Stefan!

I've put the full translation after the jump. Here are the highlights:

As we said, Volvo and Saab will put ten PHEVs on the road by 2009 to create a strong Swedish plug-in market, with vehicle testing to begin next year. Using vehicles from these two automakers, technical know-how from Vattenfall and lithium-ion batteries from ETC Battery, the plug-in hybrid project will have a budget of 62 million Swedish crowns (around $9.6 million U.S.) The vehicle models that will be used and other details are being kept quiet. Continue after the break for more.

AutoblogGreen reader Stefan N.'s translation (slightly cleaned up) of this article:

Saab and Volvo in large plug-in project

Saab and Volvo will begin a large scale project on plug-in cars. In the project the two car manufacturers will test 10 plug-in cars in traffic during the next year. "We will be testing larger Volvo models working as PHEV," says Klas Niste at Volvo Cars.

There is a lot of hush hush around this project. But in the corporations' request for subsidies from the energy department, the goal is clear. The corporations wants to create a Swedish market for plug-in hybrids. Or as they write themselves, "Demonstrate how a simple customer-attractive total solution for plug-in hybrids could look like".

Included in the project are Vattenfall and battery manufacturer ETC AB in Nol, Sweden. And what the different corporations are supplying is obvious. Volvo and Saab will provide ten PHEV cars. Vattenfall will provide technical solutions for loading the cars in a efficient way. ETC Battery will provide their lithium-ion batteries.

The project should run through 2008-2010 and the ten plug-in hybrids will be in traffic in 2009. Total budget is 62 million crowns, approx $10 million U.S. and the corporations has been seeking half the budget in subsidies. But to receive 50 percent financing it was demanded that more research and development was included in the project, according to the committee for the vehicle research, which gave clearance for a third of the total budget in subsidies.

-The next step will be that the four corporations return with an application where they assure that they pay for 65 percent of the finances, then it can proceed to the energy development committee, at the Energy department, which will decide on the subsidies surmounting 10 million crowns. I think a decision will be made in January-February and if they keep their promise of 65 percent of the financing they will get an OK, says Gunnar Lindstedt at Vinnova, secretary of the committee who recommends that the project should receive 20 million crowns in support. Both car manufacturers are keeping secret which models will be provided with PHEV functionality. So far the Volvo Cars has only shown the C30 as a PHEV. But, according to Klas Niste at Volvo Cars, there will be larger models included in the project. But what larger models has Volvo developed with plug-in technology? No comments, says Klas Niste.

Fact on the Plug-in project Project description in the application for money from Program council for vehicle research. "The application is regarding financial support to establish a common development and demonstration project for plug-in hybrids between SAAB Automobile, Volvo Car Corporation, Vattenfall AB and ETC AB. With the collaborations the parts want to strengthen the possibilities to create a future Swedish united, political and industrial, force for plug-in hybrids. Plug-in hybrids have a big potential to give a large contribution for Sweden to reach national and international climate goal and lessen the dependence on fossil fuel.

  • To construct and put ten PHEVs on the road by year 2009
  • To evaluate vehicles and infrastructure under real circumstances
  • To demonstrate what a simple customer-attractive total solution for plug-in hybrids would look like
  • To contribute to increased acceptance and insight on the role plug-in hybrids can have to reach national and international climate goals, increase the safety for energy supplies and promote the future of Swedish competition in trade and industry.
  • To contribute to research and development within the area through collaborations with, for example, SHC. The project is investigating the possibilities for SHC to be able to, from the data collected in this demonstration project, 1) evaluate batteries 2) analyze driving patterns 3) verify/calibrate simulationprograms for PHEV and HEV drivelines.
Financing. ... Written by: Kenneth Samuelsson

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