Volvo Launches First-Ever Diesel Hybrid and Showcases Unique Portable Car Charger

Oct 17, 2013 03:05 PM EDT | Jordan Ecarma

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Hybrid Volvo

This winning design is beautiful as well as practical--the electric car charger can be collapsed and fit into the trunk. (Photo : Volvo)

Volvo launched the Volvo V60 Plug-In and also unveiled an aesthetically pleasing electric car charger at the new model's debut in Milan, Italy.

The Volvo V60 is the world's first plug-in diesel hybrid, according to the New York Daily News.

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Looking something akin to a larger-than-life spider web, the portable "Pure Tension Pavilion" is designed to be deployed rapidly to charge the car from the sun, the outlet reports. After the car is charged, the collapsible structure can be taken down and put in the V60's trunk.

The intricately designed car charger is the winner of an architectural and engineering competition hosted by Volvo. Designed by Alvin Huang's Synthesis Design + Architecture, the Pure Tension Pavilion serves as a portable solar charging station.

"We are thrilled to have had the chance to see our winning project come to light thanks to Volvo Car Italia," founder Alvin Huang said in a statement. "The creation of 'Pure Tension' is proof of how modern and innovative Volvo Cars' mindset is. The Pure Tension pavilion demonstrates performance, form and technology, just like the new Volvo cars."

The pavilion has embedded photovoltaic cells throughout its mesh structure that generate energy from the sun or indoor lighting. The hybrid car can be parked beneath it and plug right into the structure, allowing it to charge over the course of a day.

The structure is currently for demonstration only, with no plans for production in the near future, Volvo said.

The 2014 Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid will be available in Europe, while a gasoline-only version of the V60 is expected to launch in the United States early next year, according to the New York Daily News.

If the convenient, carry-along car charger model ever hits the market, it could improve the outlook for electric cars. A recent Bloomberg report found that consumers shy away from electric cars due to their limited driving range.

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