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Volvo Car Corporation Ramps Up Assembly
of the World’s First Diesel Plug-in Hybrid

Volvo Car Corporation is now ramping up production of the new Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid. After the initial batch of 1,000 model year 2013 cars, production will increase to 4,000–6,000 cars as of model year 2014.

The assembly of the world’s first diesel plug-in hybrid has been successfully integrated on the same line as the company’s other models at the Torslanda plant in Gothenburg.

This is a remarkable achievement considering that the sophisticated plug-in hybrid technology includes two complete drive trains and a powerful battery that provides a range of up to 50 kilometres on pure electric power.

“We are first in the industry to integrate a plug-in hybrid in an established production flow together with other car models,” says Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research and Development at Volvo Car Corporation. “The integration in the standard production flow gives the plug-in hybrid buyer the possibility to choose in principle all options available for the standard V60.”

Over 300 more parts

All the additional equipment and additional systems in the plug-in hybrid have led to parts of the final assembly line being rebuilt and modified. The adaption makes it possible to smoothly integrate the assembly of over 300 more parts that are included in the plug-in hybrid compared to an equivalent V60.

A couple of examples of the integrated production flow:


  • The electric motor along with its drive shafts is fitted on the same station as the final drive on the standard four-wheel drive models.

  • The cooling system and the high voltage cables are assembled on the Pallet, which is used to assemble the car’s drive train and chassis parts.

  • The battery pack is lifted in through the car’s tailgate short side forward. It is then spun a quarter of a turn in the passenger compartment – a manoeuvre that takes 60 seconds and carried out with less than 20 millimetres to spare.

“The 11.2 kWh lithium-type battery is the single most complex system in the car. The precision manoeuvre to get it in place is an excellent example of the state-of-the-art assembly process,” says Peter Mertens.

Increasing demand

The Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid is the synthesis of close cooperation between Volvo Car Corporation and Swedish electricity supplier Vattenfall. The two companies have financed the development project jointly.

“The V60 Plug-in Hybrid is a unique car, a historic step not only for Volvo Car Corporation but for the entire car industry. The first year’s 1,000-car batch was sold out even before the car reached the showrooms and the order books for next year’s cars are already filling up,” concludes Peter Mertens.


For further information please contact:
Per-Åke Fröberg
Corporate Spokesman
per-ake.froberg@volvocars.com
+46-31-3257654

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Preparation of the diesel module. The unique gearbox is mounted on the 5-cylinder D5 engine (215 hp/440 Nm).
The inverter, which is placed under the battery pack, is lifted into the load compartment. The inverter converts direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) and feeds the electric motors with power.
Installation and adjustment of the belt-driven ISG (Integrated Starter Generator). The ISG connected to the crankshaft between the engine and the transmission. It supports the diesel engine to rev up ''instantly'' for a seemless transmission.
Hybrid technician Bosko Jevdic installs the electric motor (50 kW/200 Nm), which is located between the rear wheels.
Hybrid technicians Sofia Nordgren and Apichat Khongkamnoed focus on installing the high voltage cables (orange) and the cooling system for the high voltage components in the battery pack.
Hybrid technicians Sofia Nordgren and Apichat Khongkamnoed focus on installing the high voltage cables (orange) and the cooling system for the high voltage components in the battery pack.
Hybrid technician Sofia Nordgren installs the “spine” – the high voltage cables (orange) between the battery pack and the engine bay.
The undercarriage with all unique components in place is being married to the V60 car body.
Technician Erik Fjeelheim manoeuvres the 140 kg, lithium-ion battery pack (400V/11.2 kWh) into the luggage compartment. Before being put in place, the battery has to be rotated 90° inside the luggage compartment. The whole procedure is done in 60 seconds
Technician Erik Fjeelheim manoeuvres the 140 kg, lithium-ion battery pack (400V/11.2 kWh) into the load compartment. Before being put in place, the battery has to be rotated 90° inside the load compartment.
The 400 Volt, 11,2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack installed in the luggage compartment.
One of the technicians fills refrigerant in the high voltage component cooling system. All in all, the system contains almost 17 litres refrigerant.
One of the technicians fills refrigerant in the cooling system. All in all, the system contains almost 17 litres refrigerant.