Swedish carmakers Volvo and Saab have joined forces with local power company Vattenfall, battery technology consortium ETC and a government environment agency to help bring to market a new range of plug-in hybrid vehicles. Volvo has already shown us a plug-in hybrid concept based on its C30 (pictured) and Saab only last week displayed its all-new 9-X BioHybrid concept, and now the two carmakers are working on getting the fuel-saving technology to the production stage.

The consortium will spend the next two years developing both a hybrid powertrain as well as an electrical charging infrastructure, and there are plans to start testing a fleet of ten plug-in vehicles before the two years is up, reports Auto Motor and Sport. Together, the two carmakers have so far committed more than $1 billion towards hybrid research and development.

Volvo’s previous ReCharge concept produces 65% lower CO2 emissions than the equivalent petrol-only model, and over short distances the car produces no emissions at all. Saab’s 9-X BioHybrid also had an extremely low CO2 rating but its hybrid system was developed by GM.

Saab 9-X BioPower Hybrid Concept