I am sure that everyone will be getting all over excited by the world's first diesel plug-in hybrid, the Volvo V60 D6 AWD.

That’s because it does remarkable things, in Pure mode the car is powered solely by its electric motor as much as possible.

If the battery pack has been recharged with electricity from renewable sources, its range is up to 31 miles with no carbon dioxide emissions from the tailpipe. When dieseling along its CO2 emissions (NEDC, mixed driving cycle for certification) are just 48g/km, and it has a total range of up to 560 miles.

When working together the diesel engine and electric motor have a total power output of 285bhp and maximum torque of 640Nm. The electric motor's lightning-quick torque delivery contributes to the car's acceleration from 0 to 62mph in 6.1 seconds.

All this comes at a price of course. Except that the price is being subsidised by you and me. The government's Plug-In Car Grant (PICG) donates £5000, so the bottom line price is £43,775 on the road. Why? A car that is successful doesn’t need this help. Volvo admits that it has sold its initial allocation of 1000 worldwide. 

So we give £5000 to a foreign car company rather than, say, spending it on home soil. I could glibly suggest mending the roads near me with it, but surely we could loan it to some clever engineers.They could develop and invent the next big British transportation thing. That’s what needs subsidising.