Together with the introduction of three fuel-efficient DRIVe cars with CO2 emissions below 120 g/km1, Volvo Cars is unveiling an aggressive roadmap for cutting CO2 emissions. The aim is to have DRIVe models with emissions of about 100 g/km within a few years, while an innovative micro-hybrid will be introduced in 2011, followed a year later by a diesel hybrid.
"Environmental focus is naturally a high priority. Along with work on a diesel hybrid, we are conducting intensive research to cut CO2 emissions throughout the driveline range. Within a couple of years we will have cars with emissions below 100 g/km," says Volvo Cars CEO and President Stephen Odell.
The systematic measures to reach this goal mean optimising both the drivelines and components on the car itself, for instance, aerodynamics and rolling resistance.
"All these measures offer huge potential and we will achieve significant results during the coming three-year period," says Stephen Odell.
The aim is that the DRIVe versions of the Volvo C30, S40 and V50 should touch the 100 g/km target within a few years. In 2011, the aim is that Volvo customers will be able to buy a Volvo S60 with CO2 emissions below 120 g/km, a Volvo S80 that produces less than 130 g/km and a Volvo XC60 below 140 g/km. All these variants will be diesel-powered.
Innovative micro-hybrid with unique benefits
Early 2011 will see the introduction of the micro-hybrid. Volvo Cars' innovative micro-hybrid has a start-stop function that goes further than just switching off the combustion engine when the vehicle is at a standstill.
The micro-hybrid offers several benefits compared with other manufacturers' solutions. Firstly, it can be used in combination with both a manual and automatic transmission. Plus, the gearlever doesn't need to be in neutral as the technology monitors the car whilst driving and identifies when the engine can be switched off and switches the engine off automatically. It also provides the driver with the additional flexibility to restart the engine immediately, even if the car has not yet come to a complete standstill, by simply pressing the accelerator. This situation could occur when approaching and joining a roundabout where power is required instantly to take advantage of a gap in the traffic.
"A micro-hybrid gives fuel savings of 4-5 percent in a mixed driving cycle. However, the actual effect is considerably greater when driving in the city with its frequent stop-go traffic. Our system also has the benefit of being able to be adapted to most of our drivelines," explains Magnus Jonsson, Senior Vice President, Research & Development at Volvo Cars.
GTDi technology in petrol engines
When it comes to petrol engines, in 2009 Volvo Cars will start introducing a new generation of four-cylinder turbocharged engines with direct injection, a technology known as GTDi (Gas Turbo Direct injection).
"GTDi technology makes it possible to step down one engine size from five to four cylinders with unaffected performance, but with 20-30 percent lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions," explains Magnus Jonsson.
Diesel hybrid with an electric motor on the rear axle
Volvo Cars is also developing a diesel hybrid where the front wheels are driven by a further-developed variant of Volvo's five-cylinder D5 turbodiesel, while the rear wheels get a separate electric motor.
Cooperation between these two power sources and the distribution of power between the two pairs of wheels are electronically controlled to provide both effective four-wheel drive and the lowest possible fuel consumption in different driving scenarios. This diesel engine in the hybrid system also comes with a start-stop function that switches off the engine when the car is at a standstill.
"The diesel hybrid is a highly interesting solution since it is based on a sophisticated combination of the already energy-efficient diesel and electronics. Unlike a petrol hybrid, our solution will offer considerable environmental benefits both in city driving and when out on the open road," says Stephen Odell.
When it is launched in 2012, the diesel hybrid is expected to cut what will by then already be a lower fuel consumption figure by an additional 10-15 percent.
Plug-in hybrid next step
The next step is a plug-in hybrid, which is scheduled to come after 2012. The battery pack in a plug-in hybrid is recharged overnight via a regular household power socket and this gives the car an operating range of about 62 miles on electric power alone. If necessary, the car's combustion engine starts up to recharge the batteries while driving1.
Notes to editors
1 For further information please see press release titled 'The new Volvo DRIVe sub 120 g/km range' dated 9 September 2008.
2 For further information please see press release titled 'Groundbreaking Plug-In Hybrid - The Volvo Recharge Concept' dated 2 October 2008
For information on how Volvo Cars process your personal data in relation to Volvo Cars Global Newsroom click here.