Volvo has launched its new XC90 T8 plug-in hybrid SUV in the US with a playful video campaign that sees the new model drawing power from passing cars, while at the same time taunting drivers and other manufacturers.
The new PHEV variant of Volvo’s flagship SUV is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine paired to an electric motor.
The XC90 T8 has a combined output of 300kW, sips fuel at a claimed rate of 2.1l/100km on the combined cycle and sprints from 0-100km/h in 5.6 seconds.
Volvo’s video campaign turns the wasted energy from other cars into electric power to fuel the batteries in the new XC90 T8.
In the two-minute video, titled “Highway Robbery”, Volvo creates a hydro-electric charging system with a special mat laid across a southern California highway that pushes water into a generator every time a car drives over it.
The generator converts the hydraulic energy into electricity, charging an XC90 T8 that is plugged into the generator on the side of the road. A large screen connected to the illuminated charge station taunts passing drivers with messages like “Thank you, blue Volkswagen” and “Thanks for the extra miles, Jeep”.
Although not mentioned in the video, the XC90 T8 offers an electric-only range of 40 kilometres, slightly outdoing the 31km offered by BMW's recently launched X5 xDrive40e).