Initial long term plans for Volvo have been scrapped in order to make way for a plug-in hybrid sooner than anticipated.  Volvo initially intended to release a plug-in hybrid based on the companies next generation model lineup of vehicles.  This would have pushed a PHEV back several years.  Now, the company has decided to use existing technology and is planning a plug-in hybrid for release in 2012, too bad it's Europe only for now.

According to Volvo, the plug-in will be powered by a small diesel engine and of course an electric motor.  Volvo says the PHEV will have a 31 mile electric only range and a total range, with the help of the diesel engine,  listed at 746 miles.  The vehicle will emit only 49 grams of CO2 per km and is tentatively listed at achieving 124 mpg.

Work began on the plug-in back in 2007.  Volvo teamed up with energy supplier Vattenfall and together they began testing plug-in technology.  Earlier this summer, the partnership led to three working Volvo V70 PHEV demonstrators on the roads.  The vehicles are powered by a front wheel drive diesel engine and a rear wheel drive electric motor.  The electrical source is a 11.3 kWh li-ion battery pack.  According to Volvo, the pack is capable of residential charging in only 5 hours and has 32 amp fast charge capability.  The battery pack in the demonstration vehicles is provided by Ener1.

Volvo has stated that the production vehicles will be somewhat different than the demonstrators, how different remains to be seen.  The vehicle will go on sale in Europe in 2012.  Volvo has not released pricing, but did indicate that, "The purchase price of a plug-in hybrid is expected to be considerably higher than for a conventional diesel car since batteries are still expensive."  To sweeten the deal, Volvo dealers will offer buyers of the PHEV a special contract for supply of renewable energy, though the terms of this deal were not disclosed.

Expect Volov to release additional details about the diesel powered PHEV as the release date approaches.  we will provide updates as additional information becomes available.

Source:  Green Car Congress