Volvo starts making V60 plug-in hybrid

* Volvo starts making V60 diesel plug-in hybrid * Plans to make 1000 cars in 2013 * Priced at 48,775...

Volvo starts making V60 plug-in hybrid

Volvo has started production of its V60 Plug-in Hybrid; the first car of its type to combine batteries charged from the mains and a diesel engine.

Initial production of the V60 estate car is limited to 1000 examples, with 50 coming to the UK. It carries a price tag of 48,775, which makes it the most expensive version of the V60 on sale. It could yet qualify for the Government's 5000 plug-in grant, which would reduce it to 43,775. A decision on this is expected within a month or so.

Despite the lack of confirmed grant, all 50 V60s coming to the UK have already been sold, and deliveries will start from March.

To justify the high price, the car comes with a generous level of equipment, including speed-dependent power steering, an electrically adjustable driver's seat, parking sensors front and rear, and Bluetooth. It is only available in silver at the moment.

Volvo hopes to sell up to 6000 plug-in hybrid V60s in 2014, with between 150 and 450 of those expected to come to the UK. The 2014 car will come in a more traditional trim line-up, carrying ES, SE and SE Lux badges. This should mean a reduction of standard kit, but also a lower starting price.

The V60 Plug-in Hybrid pairs a five-cylinder 2.4-litre turbo diesel and a 69bhp electric motor, and claims combined emissions of just 49g/km. Volvo doesn't state a combined fuel economy figure, because this depends on what mode the car is in it can drive up to 32 miles on electric power alone.

By Tom Webster