Auto manufacturer Volvo has announced that all new models it launches from 2019 will have an electric motor, either being fully electric or hybrid. The move marks a historic end to Volvo’s production of cars fitted with only an internal combustion engine (ICE) and places electrification at the core of its future business.
The announcement represents one of the most significant moves by any car maker to embrace electrification. In a statement, President and Chief Executive of Volvo Cars Håkan Samuelsson said:
This is about the customer. People increasingly demand electrified cars, and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs. You can now pick and choose whichever electrified Volvo you wish.
This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car. Volvo Cars has stated that it plans to have sold a total of 1m electrified cars by 2025. When we said it we meant it. This is how we are going to do it.
The Swedish-based car company also cited a desire to bring their carbon footprint down as further reasons for the move. This highlights the general trend of improving environmental standards from the wider auto industry.
Air pollution is becoming a growing concern among city officials around the world. London mayor Sadiq Khan recently announced that owners of more polluting cars will soon have to pay an extra levy to drive within London’s congestion charge zone. Volvo’s announcement will, therefore, be welcomed by urban commuters and environmentally-conscious drivers alike.
The New York Times does point out that older models still in production by 2019 and beyond may still be fitted solely with an ICE. However, this doesn’t reduce the significance of Volvo’s announcement.
According to The New York Times, hybrids have accounted for only about two-percent of car sales in the US over the last year, with sales of strictly electric cars being even more minimal. In the UK the trend is more positive, with hybrid and electric cars becoming more popular. Sales rose by 31% in March ahead of the car tax changes, while diesel car sales only saw an uptick of 1.6%.
The move by Volvo is likely to continue the trend in the UK and increase demand for electric vehicles in the US, especially if more car companies take a similar decision towards electrification.
With a need to find ways to reduce carbon emissions in combating climate change, a major car manufacturer announcing their commitment to electric engines (and ultimately the environment) benefits us all.
Featured image: Rowan Heuvel/Unsplash