We saw spy photos of Volvo's XC40 compact crossover (formerly the Concept 40.1) pop up earlier this week, and now it sounds like the company will put that crossover platform to use pretty soon. The Swedish automaker will start selling its three-cylinder plug-in hybrid next year, Green Car Congress says, citing remarks Volvo executive Mats Anderson made at San Diego's SAE 2017 Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Technologies Symposium. The mill is an updated version of the T8 Twin Engine (that's Volvo-speak for hybrid) set-up in the XC90, though the XC40 PHEV will be front-wheel-drive, not all-wheel-drive like the XC90.

The plug-in hybrid will include a 55-kilowatt electric motor that will provide an all-electric range of 31 miles. The model will be the next step in Volvo's goal to have cumulative sales of 1 million hybrids and plug-in vehicles by 2025 while phasing out diesel powertrains.

So far, the company has a long way to go. Volvo already sells a plug-in hybrid in the form of a XC90 SUV variant, and said last year that the PHEV version accounted for as much as 20 percent of the model's sales. Still, compared to automakers like Toyota, Nissan, and now General Motors, Volvo's green-vehicle sales are tiny, with a global PHEV sales clip of about 1,000 units a month as of last year. Volvo doesn't divulge sales figures of its electrified vehicle (singular – the XC90 Hybrid is the only one) in the US.

Beyond next year, Volvo will start selling its battery-electric vehicle in 2019. That model will be built on the CMA compact crossover platform first shown off last year. Volvo said at the time that the EV would have a single-charge range of as much as 215 miles. Volvo is also slated to add a 48-volt mild-hybrid powertrain to its line by 2019 in both gas-powered and diesel-powered versions.

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