Now you're talking!

According to a Left Lane article, Volvo is planning not only a hybrid car, and not only a plug-in hybrid car, but a diesel plug-in hybrid car. Their schedule calls for this vehicle to be ready for the 2012 model year in Europe.

According to the article,

Volvo confirmed that it expects the vehicle’s total range to be about 1,200 kilometres, or about 745 miles. CO2 emissions would be around just 49 g/km, about half of what is considered to be low today, and Volvo says that fuel economy would average out to around 125 mpg.

Volvo did not say how long the vehicle would take to charge, but the automaker did say that the plug-in hybrid will be capable of about 31 miles on purely electric motivation.

Now this is more like it! I really hope not to be in the market for a car until at least 2015, but 1.9 L/100 km sounds pretty good to me! Perhaps some advances will be made in battery technology that will make a hybrid a more attractive option by that time.

And I hope we’ll have the option of purchasing cars like this in North America. Diesel cars have never caught on here as they have in Europe.

Sales of the diesel version of the VW Jetta are strong in Canada, where nearly half of the Jettas sold run on diesel fuel. With the new clean diesel engine in the 2009 Jetta being emissions-legal in all 50 U.S. states, American diesel sales are climbing. In the first month of U.S. sales, 40% of all Jetta sedan sales were for the diesel version, and 60% of all Jetta Sportwagen sales were for the diesel version. This may not be a representative sample because there was no 2007 diesel Jetta. A temporary surge in demand may be behind these numbers. Time will tell.

I expect diesel powered cars will become more popular in North America. They do currently carry a price premium of a few thousand dollars, but they also are about 30% more fuel efficient than the average gas-powered car. Diesel fuel prices vary in relation to gasoline but they’re usually not very far apart. People with concerns for the environment will appreciate the lower CO2 emissions.

I look forward to a greater variety in auto power-plant options.

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