7 Steps into the future: 6


© Volvo

Hybrid vigour

Every environmentally aware driver wants a Prius hybrid, which runs on petrol and electricity. But that may change as Volvo launches the V60 Diesel Hybrid – the world’s first plug-in hybrid with a diesel engine. It can be used as an entirely electric car: on its 12 kWh lithium-ion battery, rechargeable from the mains in under four and a half hours, it has a commuter-friendly range of 50 kilometres. For longer journeys, the car maximizes efficiency and minimizes emissions using a combination of an electric motor and a diesel engine – an efficient option as diesel contains more energy per litre than petrol, and diesel engines require less fuel to run. The V60 Diesel Hybrid can travel 1,200 kilometres on one tank of fuel, with an astonishing efficiency of 1.9 litres per 100 kilometres – less than half the  upper limit required by the European Union for new passenger cars.

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