Volvo is offering UK buyers of its plug-in hybrid models a year’s worth of free electricity, in a bid to encourage them to use their cars as efficiently as possible.
The Take Charge offer, which was revealed at the unveiling of the XC40 Recharge EV last month, will be available to any UK buyer of one of the firm's seven plug-in hybrid models between now and 30 June 2020.
Volvo now offers an electrified version of every car in its line-up, with plug-in hybrid versions of the XC40, XC60, XC90 SUVs, the V60 and V90 estates and the S60 and S90 saloons. All those models will now carry the new Recharge badge for electrified machines.
The firm will record the total level of charge put into it over the course of a year using the Volvo On Call app, with Volvo then giving the customer a rebate based on the average price of electricity.
Björn Annwall, Volvo’s commercial boss, said the scheme was designed to showcase that plug-in hybrids can be a sustainable stepping stone or alternative to full electric cars, and to fight the belief that many are bought for tax incentives and rarely plugged in to charge.
“Plug-in hybrids can be very efficient if they are used in the right way,” said Annwall. “But if you just buy them for tax reasons and leave the cables in the boot, it’s just a waste.
“We wanted to make consumers more aware of the benefits, and this was something we could do to help all plug-in hybrid buyers. We think incentives can help, because they can put a spotlight on efficient energy usage.
“The first year with a new car is when you set your habits with it, so if we put incentives then it will really make people think about how they use their cars, and show how they can change.”
While Volvo's plug-in hybrid models have previously carried Twin Engine branding, that will be phased out in favour of the new Recharge label, which will also be used for full-electric cars such as the new XC40 Recharge.
Volvo is aiming for plug-in hybrid cars to account for 20% of its sales next year. This is a key part of a major push towards electrification and reducing its average carbon emissions. The firm is aiming to be carbon neutral by 2040.