All Volvo cars will be electric or hybrid, company confirms
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The automaker has announced that all its new models launched after 2019 will be electric or hybrid. Five new fully electric models will be launched in the 2019–2021 period.
This decision makes it the first major traditional car manufacturer to confirm a date for phasing out pure internal combustion engine vehicles.
Volvo has been manufacturing pure combustion engine cars for nearly a century.
“This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car,” said Hakan Samuelsson, CEO of Volvo Cars.
For Volvo, its electric and hybrid models make up a small percentage of new car sales, although there is significant growth in demand for its premium models. At this end of the market, Volvo competes with new automakers such as Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors, as well as traditional rivals such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz, which are increasingly manufacturing electric and hybrid vehicles.
As electric and hybrid technology improves and prices inevitably fall, it is expected that more automakers will shift their focus to electric and hybrid cars. Recently, it was reported that BMW will be introducing an electric version of its bestselling 3 Series in September 2017, meeting challenge in luxury electric cars from Tesla Motors.
Volvo will launch five new fully electric cars in the 2019-2021 period; three Volvos and two Polestars.
“These five cars will be supplemented by a range of petrol and diesel plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid 48-volt options on all models,” Volvo announced. “This means that there will in future be no Volvo cars without an electric motor.”
Its first fully electric car will be built in China, and it will arrive on the global market in 2019.
Volvo Cars is owned by China-based Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. The company has factories in Europe, China and is currently building one in the US. Since Geely bought Volvo from Ford in 2010, Volvo has invested heavily in new models and emerging technologies, allowing the automaker to establish a presence in the market for premium cars.