Plug-In Hybrid Cars Are Coming, and Volvo is the First to Bring Them to the Philippines

The Swedish car manufacturer launched three plug-in models during an environmental forum.
IMAGE Courtesy of Volvo Philippines

There’s no stopping the march of more environment-friendly cars. Globally, more and more automobile manufacturers are taking concrete steps to develop hybrids and fully electric vehicles in a bid to address climate issues made worse by emissions from traditional combustion engines. 

In the Philippines, progress on cleaner car alternatives is slow. Toyota has made its Prius available for years, and recently launched a refreshed Corolla Altis with a hybrid engine, while fellow Japanese brand Nissan has committed to bring its bestselling electric model the Leaf to our shores by next year.

But Volvo has beaten others to the punch by launching the first plug-in hybrids in the country. At the Future of Electric Forum held last September 27 in Bonifacio Global City, the Swedish carmaker launched a trio of cars all bearing the T8 Twin Engine: the XC60 SUV, the Volvo S90 estate, and the mid-size premium XC90 SUV.

According to Volvo, its T8 Twin Engine delivers all the benefits of a high performance, low emission petrol engine, with an electric motor that delivers power on demand and ultra-low CO2 emissions, as well as over 40 kilometers of pure electric range.

(from left) Chris Lee Yu, Volvo Philippines, Marketing Head; Atty. Alberto B. Arcilla, Volvo Philippines, President & CEO; H.E. Harald Fries, Ambassador of Sweden in Manila; Jakob Olsson, Volvo Asia Pacific’s Market Area Director; Niclas Bratt, Volvo Asia Pacific’s Director of Energy Propulsion Systems and Controls and Calibration

Photo by Courtesy of Volvo Philippines.

Mr. Niclas Bratt, Volvo Asia Pacific’s Director of Energy Propulsion Systems and Controls and Calibration Niclas presenting the global trends and its relevance to Volvo’s electrification

Photo by Courtesy of Volvo Philippines.

Compared to a traditional hybrid engine that uses energy from its internal combustion engine to charge the car’s battery, plug-in models make it possible for the car to travel longer distances running purely on electricity alone. 

With all of Volvo’s plug-in hybrid models delivering over 400 horsepower, the brand promises owners can expect up to 15 percent in fuel savings, not to mention drastic reduction in planet-killing emissions.

All three models also offer a range of drive modes depending on the need: full Power mode, Pure electric mode and balanced Hybrid mode.

“We dare to make a change for the better, starting with how we create our cars,” said Atty. Alberto B. Arcilla, president and CEO Volvo Philippines.

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Chris Yu emphasizing Volvo’s electrification commitment and how it will benefit both the environment and its user (driver)

Photo by Courtesy of Volvo Philippines.

In his speech, Arcilla ticked off alarming figures related to environmental degradation: 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic trash in the ocean, 4.2 million deaths attributed to ambient air pollution, and current carbon dioxide levels of 412 parts per million in our atmosphere.

“Volvo has always been cognizant of our part in environmental issues. That is the reason why we have incorporated care for the environment as one of our core values. As early as the 1970s, Volvo had already made concrete steps in finding solutions to environmental challenges. Since then, Volvo has pushed the boundaries in addressing the environmental impact that our cars make.” 

In addition, Volvo committed its other plans in pursuit of a more electric future, including its first fully electric car this year, and achieving one million electrified vehicles, or about half of its global sales, on the road by 2025.

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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