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Volvo XC60 Plug-in Hybrid

The new Volvo XC60 Plug-in Hybrid debuted in 2012 at the North American International Auto Show. The company has described its car as being a high-performance vehicle, as well as an economical hybrid. You can switch between Hybrid mode, Pure electric mode and Power mode at the touch of a button. In Power mode, the XC60 utilizes its 70 hp electric motor and its 280 hp gas engine to go from zero to 60 miles per hour in less than six seconds. The CX60 is a Volvo crossover that is fitted with a more advanced electric and gas powertrain.

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Volvo XC60 PHEV

The transmission on the CX60 is an eight speed that was only recently developed. Volvo has stated that the CX60's VEA 4-cylinder, 2 liter engine will give you the type of performance you expect from a 6-cylinder engine, with a fuel consumption lower than most current 4-cylinder engines.

The CX60 can be driven nearly 35 miles in Pure mode, using its electric motor as much as is possible. The car starts in Hybrid mode, and the gas engine and electric motor work together, giving a driving range of about 600 miles. It gets an impressive 102 mpg in US figures. When you need to get somewhere faster, you may opt for using Power mode, which also combines power from the engine and the motor.

The CX60 does not have a conventional starter motor, nor an alternator. The starter motor and the generator are integrated to deliver more horsepower when you accelerate. It also charges your battery when you are braking. You can even save some battery power in reserve, during which time the generator can top up your battery.

An electric-powered 4-wheel drive system is used in the CX60, and this distributes power between the rear axle which is electrically driven, and the front wheels which are gas-driven. The 4-cylinder gas engine is also turbocharged, and the top speed is reported at 130 mph. You can even tow 3300 pounds behind the car. The CO2 emissions from the CX60 are lower than 53 grams per kilometer, and you may need between 3.5 and 7.5 hours to recharge the car, depending on whether you are using a 110 or 220 volt source.

It has been speculated among fans of electric-powered vehicles that Volvo waited until it perfected the actual cord and connections before it debuted the CX60. Other electric cars are harder to charge, but the CX60 makes the process a bit more manageable. The cord is quite simple, and it plugs into standard types of outlets. In this way, it's a lot like plugging anything else in, and more work will be done on the mechanism that stores the cord. Such a piece might actually not even be in the car itself, but in your garage, where you would normally charge the car.

For electric-powered cars like the CX60 to become more routinely seen on American roads, other companies will have to take a lesson from Volvo, and make their electric and hybrid cars less intimidating and more user-friendly.