The 2016 Volvo XC90 T8 "Twin Engine" is the world's first seven-seat plug-in hybrid SUV, and when it goes on sale this fall it will apparently claim another distinctive first.

So far, no production plug-in hybrid has been offered with 240-volt Level 2 charging as standard equipment.

But the XC90 T8 will ship with an AeroVironment TurboCord that allows for both Level 1 charging from a standard household outlet as well as Level 2 charging.

DON'T MISS: 2016 Volvo XC90 T8 Plug-In Hybrid 'Twin Engine': First Drive

Using Level 2 charging, replenishing the XC90's battery pack will take about 2.5 hours, AeroVironment claims. Level 1 charging takes about 7 hours.

The XC90 T8 has a 9.2-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, which provides enough capacity for 25 miles of electric range, Volvo claims. (The EPA rated range may be lower.)

The pack supplies power to a 60-kilowatt (82 horsepower) electric motor, which is teamed with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine that's both turbocharged and supercharged.

2016 Volvo XC90 T8 with AeroVironment TurboCord Level 2 charging cord

2016 Volvo XC90 T8 with AeroVironment TurboCord Level 2 charging cord

An eight-speed automatic transmission channels the power from the gasoline engine to the front wheels, while the electric motor powers the rear wheels.

By offering Level 2 charging, Volvo is running counter to the plug-in hybrid orthodoxy.

ALSO SEE: 2016 Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine Plug-In Hybrid: Now We Have Specs

Until now, the argument from manufacturers has been that plug-in hybrids' smaller battery packs mean Level 2 charging isn't needed.

That's even the case with the Chevrolet Volt, which has straddled the line between plug-in hybrid and extended-range electric car.

2016 Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid

2016 Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid

The second-generation 2016 Volt has an 18.4-kWh battery pack, but it will do without a Level 2 charging cord. Chevy says its date shows that a majority of owners charge at home from 120-Volt sockets anyway.

A Level 2 charging cord may give the XC90 T8 an edge over the similarly-sized crop of luxury plug-in hybrid SUVs scheduled to arrive in U.S. showrooms over the next year or so.

MORE: 2016 Volvo XC90 T8 Plug-In Hybrid Priced At $69,100; Sportier R-Design Is $71,000

That includes the 2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e, the 2016 Mercedes-Benz 550e, and the slightly later Audi Q7 e-tron.

The arrival of these four vehicles at roughly the same time could provide an interesting test of how much plug-in hybrid buyers care about faster charging.


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