The best selling Volvo XC90 comes with a plug-in hybrid version and this has been Malaysia’s best selling premium 7-seat SUV in the past 5 years. The XC90 has a 1969cc “B4204T35” petrol engine that provides 235kW and 400Nm which is made possible via both a turbocharger and supercharger. At low revs, the supercharger minimises turbo lag by providing instant boost and then at higher speeds they work together. Meanwhile there is an electric motor connected to the crankshaft that acts as both the starter motor and as a generator for electricity during overrun that can be used to top up the battery with energy which would be otherwise wasted.

A second drive motor positioned on the rear axle enables all-wheel-drive capability. The electric rear axle drive adds another 65kW and 240Nm for for a total output of 300kW/640Nm for this XC90 T8. With both motors working in unison, this XC90 can accelerate to 100km/h from standstill in just 5.3 seconds, this is super sedan performance. Drive it gingerly and the XC90 T8 can return fuel economy as frugal as 2.1 litres per 100km. This is economy compact car fuel efficiency.

On a full charge, this XC90 T8 drivetrain allows a pure EV range of up to 40km. Once the battery becomes depleted, the drive mode can switch to recharging the batteries and running the engine with petrol power. Now all this is great news for the owner who gets a high quality 7-seat SUV with great fuel economy and sports sedan power when needed.

Now comes the question of how much will the replacement liquid cooled plug-in hybrid battery cost when it reaches its lifetime and the extensive 5-year or 100,000 kilometer warranty has run out. (please note that to date there has been no claim on the PHEV battery system on any Volvo in Malaysia)

Volvo Cars Malaysia offers a 10.4 kWh battery replacement at a cost of only RM45,000 (includes installation) and this comes with an extensive warranty. This might sound a little high to the average person but please remember the savings on fuel over the many years and the power delivery that the XC90 T8 provides to the driver.