Chosen as part of a group of 20 participating fleets, Tristar Worldwide, the United Kingdom’s largest chauffeur firm, will operate three Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrids in a trial aimed at exploring of the currently used Volvo diesels could be replaced with plug-in hybrids. Throughout the trial, Tristar will monitor running costs, mileage data and overall driver and customer feedback.
The company has only recently begun operating the vehicles, but already they have given positive feedback from their drivers, praising ride quality and overall performance. The trial is part of the Energy Saving Trust’s Plugged-In Fleet Initiative (PIFI), which intends to distribute the vehicles to chauffeurs in order to fully assess the operational benefits. The trial will take six to eight months and will see each vehicle cover over 20,000 miles.
Funded by the Department for Transport and Transport for London, PIFI aims to demonstrate how plug-in vehicles can not only fulfill, but maximize a transportation company’s business needs. Additional goals of the trial include showing where such vehicles work economically, and providing crucial insights into the fleet plug-in vehicle market.
Concerning the specific vehicles utilized in the trial, the V60 Plug-in Hybrid’s front wheels are powered by a five-cylinder 2.4-litre turbo diesel engine producing 215 hp. Its maximum torque is 440 Nm, and the rear axle is powered by an electric motor producing 70 horsepower, resulting in CO2 emissions of 48g/km on the combined cycle.
CEO of Tristar Worldwide, Dean De Beer, said, "It's important that we can offer our discerning clients a wide range of vehicle options including an ultra-low emission solution and the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid is a potential option for this. We are constantly updating our Volvo fleet and the safety features in the latest cars are definitely helping us to reduce our operational costs. We hope that we can achieve similar gains with this vehicle."
Volvo’s United Kingdom corporate operations manager, Selwyn Cooper, said, "The V60 Plug-in Hybrid is the perfect vehicle for chauffeurs as it pairs luxury with a smooth and quiet driving experience. During the trial Tristar can look forward to reducing their overall running costs as well as placing their clients in the back of one of the safest cars on the road today."
The new Volvo V60 D6 AWD will be available with the £5000 government grant for an on-the-road price of £43,775.