Volvo is making improvements to the system underpinning its Recharge plug-in hybrid models that will translate into increased driving range in all-electric mode.
That is good news for motorists, who will rejoice at the improvements the changes bring to the electric ranges of Volvo’s PHEVs. For instance, where the S60 Recharge sedan and V60 Recharge wagon allowed for 35 km of all-electric driving before, that now jumps to 64 km - a substantial improvement. The S90 Recharge sedan sees its electric-mode range climb from 34 to 61 km, while the XC60 Recharge and XC90 Recharge SUVs get a range of 58 km, up from 34 km in the first case and 31 km in the second.
The changes address one of the few perceived weak points of Volvo’s plug-in models, and it means the vehicles can reasonably be expected to provide all-electric capability for motorists doing short-to-average distance commutes day in, day out.
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The improvements bring other performance benefits as well. Volvo’s changes mean the motor powering the rear wheels will now deliver 143 hp instead of 87 (an increase of 65 percent). That will boost overall output to 455 hp, with torque climbing to 523 lb-ft.
The battery pack at the heart of the system is receiving an extra layer of cells, increasing capacity from 11.6 kWh to 1/8.8 kWh. Volvo promises improved performance from its models’ all-wheel drive system as a result.
Another addition to the S60 and S90 range of PHEVs is a one-pedal driving system, which helps return charge to the battery pack notably in stop-and-go traffic.
Logically, the increase in all-electric range on a full charge also means motorists should benefit from improved fuel economy. Some models benefit more than others, but for example in the case of the XC60 Recharge, Natural Resources Canada says the average fuel consumption rating will improve from 9.3L/100 km to 8.5L/100 km, which is not to be sneezed at.