Volvo, with project partner Vattenfall, a Swedish energy supplier, aim to put a PHEV on the road by 2012. Volvo is calling this push for zero-emissions vehicles DRIVe Towards Zero.

"There is no doubt that the environmental issue is at the very top of Volvo Cars' product development agenda right now," says Stephen Odell, President and CEO of Volvo Cars.

Odell insists that the goal of the industrial partnership is to not only produce vehicles with zero carbon emissions, but to make them attractive and enjoyable to drive so consumers will actually BUY them. Details of exactly how the V70 hybrid would be powered, are sketchy, but Volvo does say that the PHEV will use a lithium-ion battery pack (rechargeable by a simple household plug-in) and regenerative braking, paired with a high-efficiency diesel engine. Recharging at a fast-charge station will take between one and two and a half hours; at a standard household plug, it will take four to six hours.

Volvo aims for this PHEV to emit less than 50 grams of CO2 per kilometer so it will qualify for the lion's share of tax incentives and other programs available in Europe. Right now, there is a small fleet of these V70's on the road, for testing... only these PHEVs aren't just being tested for their battery life or for range, but also for overall enjoyability.

Source and photo: Volvo