Volvo's electrifying

choice of models

Volvo XC40 Recharge T5 Inscription, profile
Volvo XC40 Recharge T5 Inscription, side
Volvo XC40 Recharge T5 Inscription, rear profile
Volvo XC40 Recharge T5 Inscription, cabin
Volvo XC60, front
Volvo XC60, rear
Volvo XC60, boot
Volvo XC60, interior
Volvo V60 Recharge, 2021, front, action
Volvo V60 Recharge, 2021, rear, action
Volvo V60 Recharge, 2021, interior
Volvo V60 Recharge, 2021, charging
Volvo V60 Recharge, 2021, badge

VOLVO'S move towards full electrification is continuing apace, with more and more choice for customers anxious to help the environment.

The first pure electric SUV from the Swedish car maker will be available soon in the shape of the XC40 Recharge as the company moves to fulfil its promise of 50 per cent of its cars being fully electric by 2025.

By then it aims to have one million electrified Volvos on the road.

And by the same year Volvo intends to have climate neutral manufacturing operations.

While the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric with its range of 262 miles is waiting in the wings Volvo already has a wide range of both mild hybrids - where the battery is charged by the petrol engine but the car can't run solely on battery power - and plug-in hybrids, the next best thing to full electric.

I tried out three of the latter - the XC40 Recharge plug-in hybrid, the XC60 Recharge plug-in hybrid and the V60 Recharge plug-in hybrid - to see how they measured up.

On all three the car starts off initially in pure electric mode but as your speed increases power comes from a combination of electric and the petrol engine although you can switch to pure electric if you want.

In most cases, however, the range on electric alone is only around 30 miles so unless you have a short commute it's best to use the electric/petrol combination most of the time. That combination gives a big boost to the overall mpg.

For a large percentage of the population, however, their return daily commute is less than 30 miles so you can save cash by running electric all week by charging up at night at home.

Overall the XC40 plug-in hybrid averages 53.2 mpg and has a pure electric range of 27 miles.

That means, Volvo says, that for an average motorist covering 7,280 miles each a year there would be a monthly saving of £67 or £799 a year by running a plug-in XC40 rather than an equivalent petrol model.

With 262bhp the T5 Inscription Pro plug-in hybrid model I drove is quick off the mark, hitting 62 miles per hour in an impressive 7 seconds and has a top speed of 112 miles per hour.

It's priced at £42,430 but comes with everything from a panoramic sun roof to heated front seats and heated steering wheel.

The XC40 range, however, starts from a more realistic £25,420.for a T2 Momentum spec model.

Anyone looking to drive a plug-in hybrid but needing even more space for a larger family the V60 Recharge - a spacious estate car - and the XC60 Recharge - a large SUV - could be the answer.

Like the XC40 you have a similar drive train so look to achieve around the 30 mile range on pure electric.

Prices for the XC60 range start from just over £40,000 for a petrol version but opt for a plug-in hybrid T6 version with four-wheel-drive and it will set you back more than £54,000.

The V60 - the estate car equivalent - starts from £34,410 but again a plug-in hybrid T6 version with four-wheel-drive costs £46,130.

Both XC60 and V60 have the same 112 mph top speed as the XC40 but will hit 62 mph in 5.9 seconds and 5.4 seconds respectively.

All three models driven here come with the satisfaction of knowing you are helping to keep the environment cleaner but with the reassurance that if your electric power runs out and there is nowhere to charge up you still have a petrol engine to get you home.

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