Volvo Car USA announced a new, improved Recharge plug-in hybrid powertrain for 90 and 60 Series models.

The powertrain brings the all-electric range up to an EPA estimated 35-41 miles when driven in pure mode, depending on model, on a single full charge. All Recharge T8 models also now qualify for the full US$7,500 federal tax credit.

Improvements to the Recharge T8 AWD plug-in hybrid powertrain include a new long range battery with a third layer of cells to increase nominal energy from 11.6 kWh to 18.8 kWh, and a more powerful rear electric motor now delivering 143 hp (up from 87 hp). The additional electric power results in a total combined output of 455 hp for Recharge T8 AWD models, making these the most powerful Volvo cars ever produced. Besides the new powertrain, new upgrades include one-pedal drive capability on XC60 and S90 models.

The new and improved e-motor increases the power in the rear wheels by approximately 65 percent, enhancing performance and drivability in all scenarios. Together with the three-layer battery, the upgraded e-motor also enables better all-wheel drive capability which can prove particularly useful at low speeds, when towing, or when driving on slippery roads that demand extra traction and stability.

The suite of upgrades includes the addition of one-pedal drive, which can help deliver an especially smooth and intuitive driving experience. The function, already seen on pure electric Volvo models, gives the driver the option of controlling both acceleration and deceleration with only the accelerator pedal. This feature will initially be available on the Volvo XC60 and S90 plug-in hybrids.

“For many customers, a plug-in hybrid is their first experience in driving electric,” said Anders Gustafsson, President & CEO, Volvo Car USA. “This upgrade will show so many the benefits of an electric future, and serve as a stepping stone on their own journey toward full electrification.”

Customer research shows that Volvo Cars’ plug-in hybrids are already now driven around half of the time in pure electric mode. This powertrain upgrade will increase that percentage, further cementing their position as “part-time electric cars.”

The new powertrain is introduced on all Volvo Recharge plug-in hybrid models based on the Scalable Product Architecture (SPA), which include the S60, V60, XC60, S90, and XC90 Recharge models.

Along with the powertrain improvements, the turbocharged T8 petrol engine is upgraded for higher fuel efficiency and performance. This means higher engine power at low revs and take-off while ensuring a more refined electrified drive with reduced CO2 tailpipe emissions.