Volvo’s claim that it could be putting a car with less than 50g/km on the road by 2012 is impressive. Especially since the Swedish car maker doesn’t currently make a hybrid, apart from a bus.

When company CEO Stephen Odell says it will give “genuine driving pleasure” it is even more impressive.

But for some reason because it is Volvo, a car maker best described as sensible, you tend to have faith in it. The Swedes take the environment very seriously and while other car makers shout louder you suspect they must have a few tricks up their sleeves.

The fact that the Volvo plug-in diesel hybrid will be using renewable synthetic diesel is another interesting point.

Speaking to Volvo today it is clear they are looking at the bigger picture with regards to biofuels – that of the slightly concerning sources it may be coming from. There are constant reports of jungle being cleared to grow crops for biofuels as well as food shortages because of it.

Thus Volvo is looking at synthetic diesel, a biodiesel made from waste products such as offcuts from forests and sugar beet waste. All this and 50g/km in two-and-a-half years? It sounds too good to be true, but as it’s Volvo I hope it’s not.

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