Business car fleets across Europe are expected to account for 80% of the initial batch of 1000 Volvo V60 plug-in diesel hybrids when deliveries start at the end of this year.

A pan-European order book for the first batch open this spring with plans to ramp up annual production to between 4000 and 6000 cars from September next year.

Volvo, which claims “immense interest” from European markets, calculates that British customers, predominantly corporate buyers, will buy between 300 and 900 cars a year on the basis of a 5% to 15% share of output.

Described by the company’s chief executive Stefan Jacoby as “the most ingenious car in the world which elevates hybrid technology to an entirely new level” the V60 plug-in hybrid should offer BIK bills of just £85 per month for 40% tax band payers. The car comes with a British market price of £42,000, including the £5000 government EV grant.

With its all-wheel-drive capability, involving front-wheel drive diesel power and rear electric traction, the V60 plug-in hybrid boasts a CO2 figure of 49g/km and a potential 746-mile range.

It operates on a pure electric-only mode with a nominal 32-mile range, before switching to a standard diesel-electric hybrid format with the capability of a zero to 62mph time of 6.2 seconds.