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Volvo to Launch Extended Range Hybrid Powertrain in US

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March 16, 2022—Volvo Car USA on Monday announced it will bring an improved plug-in hybrid powertrain for its 90 and 60 series vehicles to the U.S.

The new Recharge powertrain extends a vehicle's range when driven in pure electric mode according to a news release from the automaker, and it decreases carbon dioxide emissions while increasing overall performance.

Volvo Car USA has announced that a new, improved Recharge plug-in hybrid powertrain is coming to the U.S. in its 90 and 60 Series models, significantly extending electric range while lowering carbon dioxide emissions, increasing performance, and improving drivability.

“For many customers, a plug-in hybrid is their first experience in driving electric,” Volvo USA President and CEO Anders Gustafsson said in a statement. “This upgrade will show so many the benefits of an electric future, and serve as a stepping stone on their own journey toward full electrification.”

The release touts significant improvements to the all-wheel drive powertrain's battery, which gives vehicles equipped with it a more powerful rear electric motor that increases total output by about 65 percent in the rear axle -- up to 143 horsepower from 87. Total horsepower for the drivetrain will top out at 455, which Volvo says makes it "the most powerful ... ever produced" by the company.

Driving on only electric energy, vehicles with the Recharge powertrain can get up to an EPA-estimated 41 miles of driving range. Models with the powertrain will also now qualify for the federal government's $7,500 electric vehicle tax credit.

As outlined by Gustafsson's comment, Volvo sees the revamped powertrain as a way to get its customers warmed up to the idea of driving an electric vehicle. Customer research data cited in the news release shows that Volvo drivers who own a hybrid use pure electric mode around half the time. 

"This powertrain upgrade will increase that percentage," the release said, "further cementing their position as 'part-time electric cars.'”

The company plans to sell around 600,000 new fully electric vehicles annually by 2025. In 2030, Volvo says it hopes all of its vehicles will be fully electric.

The new hybrid powertrain will come standard on new S60, V60, XC60, S90 and XC90 models.

Image: Volvo Car USA

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