Prices for 2021 Volvo plug-in hybrid models—nearly rebadged Recharge T8, or Recharge Plug-In Hybrid—are substantially lower than 2020 models, according to an early order guide obtained by CarsDirect.

The biggest price reduction is on the S60 plug-in hybrid sedan, because it gets a new entry-level trim level. Dubbed R-Design Expression, it starts at $48,645 (including a mandatory $995 destination charge), which is $7,750 less than the least-expensive 2020 model.

The larger S90 plug-in hybrid sedan will start at $61,045, which represents a $3,150 reduction from the 2020 model year. The XC60 and XC90 SUVs get price cuts of $450 and $3,550, respectively.

These plug-in hybrid models also qualify for a federal tax credit of up to $5,419. They may also qualify for various state and local incentives, but do not qualify for California's Clean Vehicle Rebate. That's because all Volvo plug-in hybrids either have a starting price over $60,000 or don't meet the minimum 35-mile electric-range requirement.

Price changes are aimed at keeping Volvo competitive in the plug-in hybrid market, according to a letter to dealers obtained by CarsDirect.

2021 Volvo S60 Polestar Engineered

2021 Volvo S60 Polestar Engineered

The automaker hopes to make plug-in hybrids 20% of its United States sales, up from about 4% now, and is taking other steps beyond price cuts to make that happen.

Volvo recently introduced a program through which it will reimburse owners for plugging in, helping to ensure that plug-in hybrids actually achieve their full benefit.

Much of Volvo's plug-in hybrid lineup also got more electric range for the 2020 model year, albeit not much. The XC60, for example, got a 2-mile boost, to 19 miles, while the XC90's electric range increased by 1 mile, to 18 miles.

Volvo has also tried to add more excitement to its plug-in hybrid lineup with Polestar Engineered performance versions. Powertrain tweaks to the T8 powertrain provide 415 horsepower and 494 pound-feet of torque.

As it pushes plug-in hybrids, Volvo is taking orders for its XC40 Recharge electric vehicle, which is due for first deliveries later this year. More EVs, including potentially an electric XC90, are on the way.