PRETORIA - Volvo wants the world to plug in to electric motoring and the Swedish car company is showing that it’s even prepared to sweeten the deal for those that buy vehicles with charge sockets.
As part of a global initiative, Volvo will be partially refunding the electricity bills of those who buy its plug-in hybrid vehicles, for one year after purchase, and the local division has just announced that this also applies to South Africa - or at least in those instances when there is electricity.
Eskom jibes aside, the only other downside is that for now the only Volvo plug-in hybrid vehicle available in South Africa is the XC90 T8 Twin Engine, which is priced from R1 276 200. However, the initiative would surely also apply to future plug-in hybrid products that are launched. Volvo recently announced an XC40 Twin Engine model overseas, but it has not yet been confirmed for South African introduction.
The offer applies only to the electricity that is used to charge the car, and this will be monitored by Volvo’s On Call app. After a year of plugging in, customers will receive a refund equivalent to the car’s power consumption. The initiative applies to all plug-in hybrids bought after 16 October, and official measurement will start in May 2020, but in order to qualify, clients will be required to keep the car for the full year.
Given that charging an electric car is significantly cheaper than filling it with fuel, and that the T8 is only partially electric for that matter, it’s safe to say that T8 customers are not going to suddenly receive a big wad of cash back every month, at least not enough to make much of a difference to someone who was able to spend R1.2m on a car.