Auto makers, Volvo is targeting 2019 to phase out vehicles powered solely by the internal combustion engine.
In its place, the company says that all Volvo car models launched thereafter will be electric or hybrids. Volvo made the announcement on Wednesday.
With the announcement, the Chinese-owned company becomes the first major traditional automaker to set a date for phasing out vehicles powered solely by the internal combustion engine.
The Sweden-based company will continue to produce pure combustion-engine Volvos from models launched before that date, but its move signals the eventual end of nearly a century of Volvos powered solely that way.
While electric and hybrid vehicles are still only a small fraction of new cars sales, they are gaining ground at the premium end of the market, where Volvo operates and where Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors has been a pure-play battery carmaker from day one. As technology improves and prices fall, many in the industry expect mass-market adoption to follow.
“This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car,” Volvo Cars CEO Hakan Samuelsson said.
The company, owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, said five new models set to be launched in 2019 through 2021 – three of them Volvos and two Polestar-branded – would all be fully electric.
“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 said. “This means that there will in future be no Volvo cars without an electric motor.” (Reuters)